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What are Vocational Qualifications?

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Four people on laptopsVocational qualifications (VQs) are work-related qualifications. They’re designed to allow you to learn in a way that suits you, and give you the skills that employers are looking for. There are lots to choose from, in a wide range of subjects.

The great thing about vocational qualifications is that they are completed while you work – alongside your day job. This makes the training relevant, means you can start using it to boost your work straight away, and also means the learning is more likely to ‘stick’.

When you consider the fact that 70% of our knowledge comes from work-based, ‘on the job’ learning, it’s really clear just how important vocational qualifications are to your career! (By the way, if you’re wondering: we get 20% of our knowledge by observing and interacting with others and just 10% from ‘formal’ training! Read more about the 70:20:10 problem of learning.)

Ideally, the work involved in your vocational qualification will directly reflect the tasks you’re doing on a daily basis and the skills you need to build upon. Sure, you can learn about something different, but it’s a whole lot easier to gain a sales and marketing qualification when you’re actually, you know, closing sales and marketing products!

Lots of companies have already benefited from putting their workforce through vocational qualifications using an online approach. For instance, Aggregate Industries put 400 salespeople through a Level 3 Diploma in sales and marketing from the ISMM (Institute of Sales and Marketing Management).

The online approach meant that they could complete the eLearning modules in their own time, and then start applying their new knowledge straight away at work the next day. It’s much more flexible and means the business started seeing the positive effects of the training from day one!

Here’s a short example of how vocational qualifications really do complement your current role: imagine you’re taking an ISMM qualification online. If you’re working on ISMM Level 3: Unit 301: Planning and Delivering a Sales Presentation, part of your assessment might focus on sales presentations that you’ve given to clients and you’ll be encouraged to create a new presentation, which can then be used in a real situation with a client.

See? A vocational qualification focuses on what you need to do to improve your career and helps you get there. It’s pretty great and it really works to improve your career prospects!

Want to find out more? Try one of our ISMM demo units for free today!

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