Young people completing courses as diverse as midwifery and catering have been praised in a celebration of vocational education.
Vocational Qualification (VQ) Day was first celebrated last year in Wales and has now been rolled out across the UK. Set up to complement A-level and GCSE results days, VQ Day was officially launched at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells on Wednesday.
In Wales, 37 per cent of all post-16 qualifications have vocational elements, matched by Scotland but higher than in England and Northern Ireland, says vocational foundation Edge.
Many students taking BTEC national diplomas, apprenticeships, NVQs and access courses will go on to higher education. Others will use the qualifications for work or further training.
Sylvia Davies, head of public affairs at fforwm, which represents Welsh FE colleges, said vocational qualifications are ideal for young people who have a career in mind or for those who want to retrain.
Organisers hope the day will become an annual event that boosts business by encouraging vocational skills.