Unwin, Lorna, Fuller, Alison, Turbin, Jill and Young, Michael
What determines the impact of vocational qualifications: a literature review,
London, UK, Department for Education and Skills, 112pp.
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This Research Brief provides results from a review of the literature on the impact of vocational qualifications (VQs) carried out between April and August, 2003. It addresses four key questions: what drives learner choice?; what do we know about the nature and extent of the market for VQs?; how do different delivery mechanisms impact on the effectiveness of VQs?; and what does the literature tell us about the wider impact of VQs? The research team was not asked to consider economic rates of return to VQs for individuals as this topic was to be examined in a parallel study. The policy context for the literature review is England, though the findings would have relevance for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as they share many of the same VQs. The review provides an overview of the historical development of VQs in the UK in order to locate contemporary concerns about the nature and effectiveness of VQs within the broader historical and cultural evolution of the nation’s education and training system.
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