Bradford College Pharmacy Apprenticeship student Margaret Green attended London's prestigious BAFTA to receive her VQ Learner of the Year Award for the Yorkshire and Humber at the VQ Day 2012 Awards ceremony.
VQ Day recognises the value of vocational qualifications and celebrates high quality vocational achievement. The event saw Dr. Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Lord Baker, Chairman of the Edge Foundation, celebrate this year’s regional VQ Learner of the Year Award winners by presenting the winners with their certificates and taking part in 'have-a-go' skilled activities.
Dr. Cable praised Margaret's outstanding achievement in the field of vocational learning, saying: “The achievements of the VQ Day 2012 winners should be an inspiration to all people who want to find rewarding careers and get on in life.
“Returning our economy to good health will depend on skilled workers, and vocational qualifications are key in helping millions of people every year to develop the skills employers are crying out for.”
On receiving her award, Margaret said: ‘“I am absolutely blown away to have won the VQ Day Learner of the Year Award for Yorkshire and Humber. I put everything I had into this course and to be recognised for my work is fantastic – I feel like I’ve won an Oscar! I think there needs to be more publicity around Apprenticeships. They are so worthwhile for people of all ages, and for both companies and employees. I would recommend Apprenticeships to anybody and would say jyst go for it and bury any fears.”
Representatives from across the education sector gathered to celebrate VQ Day 2012, an initiative created by the Edge Foundation who are dedicated to raising the status of technical, practical and vocational learning. Aside from the awards, the event showcased a variety of vocational skills demonstrations from UK colleges* ranging from Performing Arts and Forensic Science to Aerospace Engineering.
The VQ Day celebrations extended across the length and breadth of the UK with national events held in each of the devolved nations. Colleges, learning providers and schools throughout the country also celebrated with vocational open days, awards ceremonies and workshops.
Jan Hodges, CEO of Edge, added: “We are delighted that so many people were able to join this year’s celebration of vocational excellence. I hope the rest of the country will join the educational community in applauding this year’s vocational learners and recognise the value that vocational qualifications bring to learners, businesses and communities across the UK.”
Research released to mark VQ Day shows that only 28% of teachers and FE lecturers describe their knowledge of apprenticeships as good or very good, whereas only 9% of teachers surveyed in 2012 described their knowledge of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees as poor or very poor.
The findings also revealed that over half (56%) of parents worry that snobbery towards vocational qualifications still exists, with six in ten (62%) believing that against a backdrop of the UK’s economic woes, the vocational route could help their child better compete in an increasingly competitive job market.