Employers' opinion shifts on NVQ

November 4, 1994

Training and Enterprise Councils have too much control in the delivery of National Vocational Qualifications, according to an Institute of Employment Studies survey of employers' opinions.

TECs have so far been the main avenue for NVQ delivery, and a majority of employers would use a TEC to find out about a training initiative. But given the choice of a TEC adviser or an employer with NVQ experience, the employer chose the employer by a ratio of three to one, because employers' needs are shifting from general information about NVQs to practical guidance on the actual process of implementation.

Report author Mark Spilsbury said: "There appears to be no shortage of generic information about NVQs. Our research indicates that there is no need for general awareness raising. The term 'NVQ' has become part of the accepted backcloth of the training and development world. More practical information is now needed, and it needs to be in the employers' own language."

The report suggests that the TECs should consider delivering NVQs in partnership with sector specialists, particularly the Industrial Training Organisations, or act as facilitators for sector groups to sell NVQs.

Alternatively, ITOs should become more mainstream in selling NVQs and should be given the resources to do so.

The IES warned that the latest TEC trend towards licensing agreements with local training providers needed reconsideration, not because the independent providers offer a poor service but because there is evidence of significant levels of antipathy towards them. Immediate referrals of employers to these local training providers "may lead to employers being put off before they have tried and tested the services on offer".

Employers' Needs for Information, Advice and Guidance when implementing NVQs by M. Spilsbury, C. Simkin, J. Toye. IES Report 6, 1994. Available from BEBC Ltd, PO Box 1496 Parkstone Poole, Dorset BH12 3YD. Price Pounds 30.

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