Review shows more than doubling of vocational qualifications awarded in the UK over past five years

Construction is among the industries leading the way in the steady rise in the number of vocational qualifications being awarded in the UK.

An independent review released to mark the first Vocational Qualifications Day by vocational education charity Edge showed that over 3,250,000 qualifications were awarded across all UK sectors.

This represented a 117% cent rise on the number awarded five years ago and an 8.3% rise on the previous year.

As well as construction and engineering, the other top vocational subject areas last year were healthcare, retail and business.

Construction and engineering were also singled out by the report as among the industries with the greatest employment opportunities likely to arise in future for those with vocational qualifiations, alongside utilities (especially energy), computing, business services, health and education.

The Edge review attributed the growth in vocational qualifications to increasing demand from employers.

Employers, along with colleges and private training companies, are the largest providers of practical courses but schools are playing a growing role.

The success rate among those taking vocational courses has also been on the rise, to around 78%. Success rates for apprenticeships have risen to 63%, a similar level to that of other European countries.

Andy Powell, chief executive of Edge, said: “At long last we can now see a full picture of the many different paths to success available and the sheer numbers achieving vocational qualifications.”