I am reprising a post which disappeared a few days back, on the subject of the value, or rather lack of value, of NVQ’s in today’s ultra-competitive employment market. I previously wrote about the sad story of Miss Michelle Stannard, and her hopes of employment which she thought would be buttressed by her studying for an NVQ in Photography.
When I was supervising a site in London some ten-odd years ago, I was issued with a digital camera, and was able to send immediate images of construction problems to my HQ, and get advice and comment on matters which needed expertise not in my own domain. As can be seen from the link, I was also able to identify areas which needed total re-working, and as the evidence was already available, the Contractor had no defence against such demands. But my point is that the camera issued to me then was quite basic, and with the advances resultant upon better technology, a modern camera can produce stunning images which only depend upon one outside item, the imagination of the photographer.
For a College or school to host an NVQ course in ‘Photography’, or indeed any other course which does not require intensive study, thought as well as practical matter is an insult to the hopes of those who sign up for them. Take the ludicrous Certificate of Personal Effectiveness Level 2 for example. When ‘qualified’, the student has been taught to ‘Find out what benefits you are entitled to if you are unemployed’. It also teaches how to ‘obtain information’ from ‘using the telephone’, the ‘internet’ or ‘newspapers/magazines’, and even how to ‘host a tea party’. These ‘Mickey Mouse’ gimmicks are not helping the young gain employment, they are just a lazy way of getting a few ‘Certificates’ without the mental effort required to gain any qualification which is recognised by either academia or industry.
Professor Wolf was commissioned by Education Secretary Michael Gove to review the NVQ system. I don’t know how much she personally charged us, as taxpayers, for this work, but I do know that that same review could have been carried out in an afternoon. Most of these NVQ’s are little more than window dressing for a failed system, and the sooner we get rid of the whole process, the better-off Britain will be!