Higher level qualifications are those above level 3 (equivalent to 2 x A levels) and can be either academic or vocational based. Many employers are aware of the academic route, which can include Higher National Certificates(HNC), Higher National Diplomas (HND), Foundation Degrees, Bachelor Degrees, Master Degrees and Doctoral Degrees. The HNCs, HNDs and Foundation Degrees can be delivered in further education colleges.
What is less understood is that the vocational route offers a very attractive alternative route to gaining high level skills and knowledge; skills that are key in helping employers gain the economic advantage with their competitors. Vocational qualifications may include National Vocational Qualifications from level 4 to Level 8, and Higher Level Apprenticeships. These qualifications are employment/job specific and can also offer a useful alternative route for those people already in employment or who do not wish to follow the academic route.
The Skills and Growth Company can offer businesses and individuals further information on these vocational qualifications, which specific qualifications are important to different employment sectors and how to access the support that is available.