ICT tops vocational study

ICT is still a major area of vocational training, despite slipping from last year.

Of the 2.3 million people studying vocationally-related qualifications (VRQ) last year, 19 per cent were taking ICT courses the most of any subject area but down from 22 per cent the year prior.

A review by education body Edge to mark the first ever and sure to be celebrated annually Vocational Qualifications Day, showed that overall, the number of people taking such training has increased by 8.3 per cent over the past year, and 117 per cent from five years ago.

VRQs make up the bulk of those numbers, at 2.3 million out of the total 3.25 million vocational qualifications given out. VRQs tend to be taken by younger people some 85 per cent are under 27 and are most often delivered through colleges or private training programmes. Vocational training tends to be more work-focused than academic degrees.

Edge said that the continuing growth in IT jobs will likely spur more people to take vocational training in the sector - which could help close the skills gap and make up for the fewer computing degrees being taken.

Andy Powell, chief executive of Edge, said in a statement that hopes to "see the continued expansion of the numbers taking IT-related vocational qualifications to ensure highly-skilled workers are available to fill the gaps provided by increased employment opportunities."