Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the UK


Developing economic prosperity, maintaining equality of available opportunities, and building strong communities are key goals for the United Kingdom. Technical vocational education and training (TVET) have certainly assumed greater importance, particularly as a catalyst to meet these above-mentioned agendas.

TVET in the United Kingdom forges the skills, requisite knowledge, attitude, and behaviour that support employment as well as social mobility. Essentially, TVET provides the requisite knowledge and skills for employment. It includes formal, non-formal as well as informal learning that help in equipping learners with the knowledge and skills required in workplaces. TVET is also crucial in upholding business Organisations in innovating, growing, and playing a vital role in the sustainable development of the economy. The current post elucidates in detail about the institutions that deliver TVET, people who teach the skills, the way these qualifications work, and how TVET is important for employers.

Who Provides Vocational Education and Training (VET)?

The range of Organisations that provide high-quality skills within the technical and vocational education and training sector include the following:

Schools: Schools deliver a wide array of skills and vocational courses, specifically for learners aged between 14-18 years.

Further education colleges: These institutes are said to be at the core of the TVET segment in the UK. They offer different kinds of skill training, training programs starting from Foundation to higher education level (counting degree apprenticeships). These institutions are generally not-for-profit entities even though nowadays many e have started commercial operations and have engaged in reinvesting profits into publicly financed provision. Further education colleges have a significant community role as a key local employer and epicentre of learning and help in strengthening regional and national economies.

Universities: Along with academic and higher vocational education and technical expertise, universities also offer fundamental skills and some of them also have a focus on employability. Also, they offer programs that aim to build higher-level technical expertise; and this includes apprenticeship degrees (also offered through further education colleges).

Private training providers: Private training providers deliver a wide range of skills but normally with an emphasis on the vocational elements. These institutions offer courses to learners above 16 years of age. Essentially, they focus on delivering programs that build employability skills, present government-funded training programs to deliver “off-the-job” exercises and training (counting apprenticeships), plus offer programs that are not funded by the government (counting bespoke training).

Employers: Many employers deliver both on and off-the-job opportunities of training, every so often through apprenticeships. These programs and training exercises are typically related to the job role and the requirement of the business enterprise. Good employees tend to offer their workforces opportunities to upgrade and develop their skill sets as part of their job.

Employers play an important role in the process of design, delivery as well as management of training practices. They are not only customers of the TVET process but also dynamic participants in different aspects of TVET.

Almost all employers offer training to their staff members in areas namely, processes of the company, operations, and uses of the machine, work delivery, safety, security, health, and wellbeing. Employers, particularly large ones, directly provide TVET to their staff members.

They also tend to supplement in-house training with contribution and input from Further Education Colleges or Private Training Providers.

Employers as training providers who accept government funding for undertaking training are also subject to quality assurance assessments as other providers.

People: who teach TVET

Individuals who offer TVET training are referred to as dual professionals with both updated technical expertise as well as the potential to implement the pedagogical theory.

Trainers in the TVET sector hold considerable qualifications with profound experience in their area of expertise.

Providers of TVET normally appoint industry experts and tend to keep the skills of their trainers updated implying continuous professional development of instructors at all times.

There are several schemes to uphold the TVET CPD process, including the SET (Society for Education and Training) which presents a specialized network for instructors and improves overall professional development through increased access to various teaching tools, and Research opportunities. SET also runs Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (abbreviated as QTLS) and Advanced Teacher Status (abbreviated as ATS) schemes.

TVET qualifications: How do these qualifications work?

· TVET qualifications attest and confirm knowledge levels, skills, attitudes, and behaviour of learners

· Qualifications are obtainable at different levels starting from basic (that is, EQF 1 level) to higher-level degrees (that is, EQF 8).

· Universities offer foundation, bachelor’s degrees, and post-graduate degrees, and apprenticeship degrees.

· FE Colleges particularly emphasize vocational qualifications that are below degree level (that is, EQF 6), however, they also offer some higher education courses usually in collaboration with universities.

· Qualifications are effectively structured and regulated to make sure that they are not specifically related to any particular industry or business Organisation and to ensure that students have the skill sets required for work.

Why is TVET important for employers?

As in several other nations, some businesses/employers in the UK often complain that colleges and universities do not provide them with the candidates who have the requisite skill sets to be ready for industry operations. To meet the needs of the employers, the UK government authorities have had strong attention on engaging employers as well in the process of design and delivery of vocational education and training. TVET is driving up the overall quality and relevance of skills through enhancements in various competence-based reviews. In that way, it is helping employers to have a working population that is active in the labour market, appropriately qualified with updated skill sets to innovate and contribute positively towards the prosperity of the nation.

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