There are currently over 3,000 vocational qualifications equivalent to GCSE standard, which will be cut to 125 from 2014.
This is a move by the Government to stop schools inflating their league table positions by offering courses equivalent to GCSEs but which are not deemed to be helping students improve their job prospects.
Ministers first announced plans to filter out ‘unhelpful’ NVQ courses in 2011, following Professor Alison Wolf’s review of vocational education.
Vocational qualifications have increased in popularity as more young people opt for work related qualifications, rather than opt for more traditional ones. The 70 vocational courses selected for 2014 onwards will still be equivalent to GCSEs and should assist students in improving their career prospects. Yes, many NVQ courses may indeed lead nowhere for students, but this process should help assess which ones are more important and thus more valuable to employers.