More than half of British employers say vocational qualifications are better than academic ones at preparing young people for work, a survey has found.
Research shows that 72% of employers saw vocational courses like apprenticeships and NVQs as “essential” for young people, while 53% favoured them over academic learning.
Only 27% agreed with the statement that VQs “are not as valuable as academic qualifications at preparing people for the workforce”.
The survey of 1,005 small, medium and large employers was commissioned by the Edge Foundation, a vocational learning charity, and City & Guilds, which runs vocational courses.
Respondents overwhelmingly said there should be more and better vocational alternatives to A-levels. Less than a third agreed VQs are only for pupils that do not succeed academically.
Chris Jones, director general of City & Guilds, said: “The current system is failing young people and not preparing them for the world of work.
“Employers are crying out for young people who have the right skills to add value to their business. Vocational qualifications can provide these skills - but how many people know about them?”