Outside chance of being heard

14th March 2003 at 00:00
I WELCOME Ken Boston's intention to give employers more influence over vocational standards and qualifications (TES, February14), but I wonder if he realises how hard it is for them to effect change?

The outdoor sector of industry has good standards and national vocational qualifications developed by employers but far too few are used, principally because of the inappropriately excessive quality assurance and funding restrictions that go with them. They are both candidate and employer-unfriendly.

The barriers to vocational education are well understood, but of the many letters I have written to authorities to seek discussions, few are acknowledged. It is disheartening for employers to invest effort in developing standards and qualifications, only to have their use thwarted by the "one-size-fits-all" system.

Dr KB Everard

Chair, development training employers group

Institute for Outdoor Learning

2 Fern Grove

Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

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