Vocational training

Have you ever wanted study a specific job, gain a qualification and make that your trade? Then vocational training may be for you as you start your career with equal amounts of curiosity and passion.

At a glance
  • A good choice if there’s a job you already know that you want to do
  • You can start earning quicker
  • Get qualified quicker
  • Less academic type exams and essays, more practical hands-on training

Vocational training is designed with a specific career path in mind that's related to a job or trade. It's training that focuses on precise skills and knowledge specific to that job and is great if you already know what job you want to do but just need to be trained up to do it.

How does vocational training work?

Vocational training, or National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), can take place at school or college, if you're in part-time work, on a work placement, or at the workplace itself. It usually has no age limits or special entry requirements, and a lot of NVQs are accepted by many universities, giving them the equivalent number of UCAS points as A Levels. NVQ's are available in over 1,000 subjects, ranging from plumbing to care work.

Vocational training tests your abilities in the workplace, and while they don't have to be completed in a specific amount of time, most people find it takes them about a year to complete.

Is vocational training right for you?

The best person to decide that, is you. Have a think about the different aspects of vocational training, it will help you make that decision.

What you could get from vocational training

  • Vocational training takes place in the workplace so you can try out your new knowledge, in real-life situations, straight away
  • You'll be building your interpersonal skills by working in teams and with new colleagues
  • You'll develop the skills and knowledge your employers want, improving your likelihood of finding a job when your vocational training finishes
  • If you're the sort of person who likes to demonstrate your skills outside of exams and essays, vocational training can be assessed in a variety of ways
  • There is a huge selection of training, like hairdressing, graphic design and music production
  • Vocational training is accepted by employers and most universities, making it as valid, and comparable to academic qualifications

Where to find further information

Vocational Training
City and guilds