BUSINESSES ENCOURAGED TO SIGN UP TO VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for environmental and land-based industries, encourages businesses to invest in the skills of their staff in line with National VQ Day (23 June 2010).
In today’s economic climate, training is more important than ever and research shows that businesses with trained staff are in a strong position. With 96% of environmental and land-based businesses employing fewer than 10 staff, vocational training is a great way for individuals to develop skills and gain nationally recognised qualifications.
Vocational qualifications in the sector are undergoing a significant change. Learners will be able to undertake small units of learning that can be built up into qualifications through the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). These bite-size qualifications will help learners get training tailored to their needs.
Liz Pridgeon, Qualifications and Curriculum Development Manager at Lantra, said: “Vocational training can be delivered in many ways to meet the needs of both the learner and employer. These qualifications are ideal for environmental and land-based businesses wanting to support staff and develop crucial skills for long-term success.
“Millions of people gain vocational qualifications every year, giving them the stepping stone to a brighter future, be that further vocational study, a better job or enhanced skills.”
Vocational Qualifications, such as those within Apprenticeship training, is often associated with big companies but an apprentice can gain broad experience in a small organisation. This is the case at Shenley Park in Hertfordshire where two horticulture apprentices have become invaluable members of the team.
Liz Ensor is Head Gardener and says the benefits of having apprentices should not be underestimated: “The apprentices have enthusiasm and energy which makes such a difference, especially in a small team that can be stretched every day. In turn we pay them well - it’s a nice job! I would definitely recommend Apprenticeships to other employers.”
The next generation of managers for Shenley Park is represented by 21-year-olds Michael Handscombe and Ami Cowley. Michael completed his apprenticeship last April and Ami is close to finishing hers. Ami shares the recommendation: “It’s good to be paid while you train. I like to be learning new things, to be outside and I love making the park look nice. When I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do and now I get paid for what I love. And the Apprenticeship qualification can take you anywhere.”
Liz Pridgeon concluded: “Employers want to help their businesses develop and grow – skills are crucial for them to succeed. I encourage employers and individuals to find out how vocational qualifications can help their business grow by contacting their local college or training provider, or visiting Lantra’s website.”
For information about Lantra or to find out how to your business can benefit from skills, visit www.lantra.co.uk/vq-reform
or to find out more about National VQ Day, visit www.vqday.org.uk
Issued by: Caroline Judd, Lantra Press Office – contact
or call 02476 858 407.
• National VQ Day, held on 23 June 2010, is a celebration of vocational qualifications for students, teachers and employers. VQ Day was launched in 2008 to raise the stature of practical and vocational learning. The 3rd annual VQ Day takes place nationwide on 23 June 2010. Find out more at www.vqday.org.uk
• Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for the environmental and land-based sector, is licensed by the UK government to drive forward the new skills, training and business development agenda for the sector.
• Lantra represents 17 industries and 1.5 million workers and volunteers in agricultural crops, agricultural livestock, animal care, animal technology, aquaculture, environmental conservation, equine, farriery, fencing, fisheries management, floristry, game and wildlife management, land-based engineering, landscape, production horticulture, trees and timber and veterinary nursing. For more information see www.lantra.co.uk