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Forget letters after their name, British parents are rooting for vocational qualifications to recession-proof their kids’ employment chances.

Research by independent education foundation, Edge, finds that while the economy has taken a downturn, the value of vocational qualifications ‘career currency’ has increased – more than four fifths of parents of 11-19 year olds (81 per cent) now believe it’s important for their child to have a vocational qualification.

Of these three-quarters (74 per cent) of parents said it will make their child more employable, get a job quicker (40 per cent), earn a better pay packet (26 per cent) and generally be more recession proof (20 per cent). Plus one in four (25 per cent) think it will put their offspring in a better position to be their own boss.

And topping the entrepreneurial career charts for the country’s parents in order of ranking is IT, followed by marketing in second place, and catering/hospitality, finance and insurance in joint third.

In the current climate with stiff competition for jobs, one in three parents (33 per cent) said they would be less nervous about their child’s employment prospects if they had a vocational qualification to their name.

The research, released as the country celebrates Apprenticeships Week, identifies a sea change in attitude among the county’s parents with one in 10 admitting it has made them less of an academic snob in the current climate.

Andy Powell, Chief Executive of Edge, commented:
“Parents have traditionally pushed their child down an academic path without taking into account their unique abilities and preferences. Vocational qualifications have been seen as the ‘poor cousin’ of the education world which is why it is so encouraging that more parents are finally recognising the strength of their ‘career currency’ and the fact that there are many different paths to success including apprenticeships.”

Apprenticeships in particular get a vote of confidence from parents. Over one in four (27 per cent) revealed that they have or will advise their child to take their first step onto the career ladder with an apprenticeship with 77 per cent recognising the opportunity they provide to gain real experience in the workplace.

Edge is encouraging parents with children unsure of the options available to them to direct them to

Visit for more information.


For more information about Edge, please contact: Sarah Davidson or James Everest at Band & Brown Communications: 020 7419 6950 /

Notes to editors:

Research was carried out by YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1555 parents of 11 to 19 year olds in England. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th to 18th February 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures are representative of parent s of 11 to 19 year olds in England.

About Edge

Edge is an independent education foundation. It is dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning, so that all young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential, and the UK’s future workforce is equipped with the skills to be successful in the modern economy. Edge believes that ‘learning by doing’ is as important as academic learning, and that there are many paths to success.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Citizen Relations in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Education & Human Resources, for more information visit