The VQ route: choosing the right path

Happy VQ day! Vocational Qualifications Day is all about celebrating the achievements of those who have taken the vocational route. But as campaign supporter Kate Nash pondered in her late teens, “I can’t even decide whether to have beans on toast or a bowl of pasta for dinner tonight, how am I supposed to make a decision about what to do with my life for the next three years?”


Good question. Here’s a few tips and some inspiring vocational education and training projects who have taken the vocational route.

Look at emerging industries

If you’ve got a strong interest in a relatively new career, the vocational route could be the one for you. Students at Leeds City College are becoming confident with coding as part of the college’s V-Game Strategic Partnership. The project is creating the ‘V-Game’ based learning environment allowing students to learn the technical features of programming. From character design to JavaScript, students between 14-18 work towards modules in web production during their Level 3 courses. (P.S. - the European Coding Initiative has just launched all you need is {C<3DE}, for students, teachers and adults who are looking to try out coding). You can see a prototype example of what the final game could look like below.


Spread your wings

Experience abroad can give you the edge when it comes to employability. Craven College’s Leonardo mobility project saw 30 students from Craven’s Aviation Academy go on a two week work placement at Air Malta and Luqa Airport in Malta giving them hands on airside work experience in their field which they couldn’t complete anywhere in the UK due to security restrictions. Students gained confidence and took on responsibilities through completing the role of ‘duty manager’ and delivering a presentation to airport senior management.

“Having work experience with Air Malta has benefited me massively. After all the tasks I was set (sic) I now feel more confident in talking with people that I am not familiar with. Also it opened my eyes to all the jobs that are available within an airport and it has definitely widened my career options…” – project participant.

Go further

Everything is Possible "Go Further Reach Higher" vocational education and training (VET) mobility project is aimed at targets 90 trainees with fewer opportunities and allows them to take a two week traineeship in either animal management studies or wood occupations. 26-year-old Derek from Wigan is one trainee who worked in the field of Animal Management at a cat sanctuary in Malta. He already worked part-time, but wanted to pursue his love of animals.

Don’t give up!

If an industry is competitive, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make your mark. Sara was a volunteer at Ulfah Arts, who received Leonardo funding under the previous programme. As part of a project, Sara was able to visit to take a YTV Global Media Placement in Turkey to help her pursue her dream career in the media. You can also read Sarah's full blog entry about her experience.

Take part in our new photo competition! Whether you’re a student, member of staff, volunteer, teacher or youth leader, you can share your story. The competition is for participants from the UK who have taken part in the Erasmus+ programme in 2014 to 2015. You can find full details and read terms and conditions on our website, good luck!

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