New funding available for schools, colleges and learning providers in the East of England to help celebrate vocational learning

The Edge Foundation, which champions technical, practical and vocational education, is making funding available for schools, colleges and learning providers in the East of England to help raise awareness of the benefits of skills-based learning.

The funding will go towards events to mark VQ Day on June 5, a national celebration of the practical and vocational achievements of learners of all ages. The regional events will aim to help students understand more about vocational qualifications and get the edge for their future careers.

Up to £500 will be available to stage a ‘Have a Go’ activity in the region. These are ‘bite-size’ tasters of a skill which give an introduction to possible careers that students might not have previously considered.

Following this, learning providers will have the opportunity to apply for £4,000 to repeat their activity at the Skills Show, the UK’s largest skills and careers event, which is held at the NEC from November 14-16.

Educational providers that want to get involved will need to ensure the proposed event meets the following criteria:

• creative and inventive

• contains an interactive ‘Have a Go’ element to allow visitors to be physically engaged in a skill-based activity.

• involves young people

• captures the imagination of attendees

• takes place on or around VQ Day (June 5, 2013)

Jan Hodges, CEO of the Edge Foundation, said: “VQ Day is about celebrating learning by doing and there is no better way to see this in practice than within the colleges, schools and learning providers that champion it.

“We understand the importance of supporting educational organisations in the East of England to help students get the edge. Staging a ‘Have a Go’ activity will help people take part in a day that celebrates individual achievements, and the wider benefits they bring to society and business.”

The funding announcement follows the call for nominations for the national VQ Learner of the Year award. Learning providers in the East of England are being called upon to put forward outstanding students who have gained a vocational qualification in the last 12 months.

For the first time, businesses of all sizes in the East of England are also being encouraged to nominate themselves for the new VQ Employer of the Year award. The award has been introduced to recognise employers who have positively embraced vocational learning for their workforce.

The deadline for submissions for both the VQ Learner and Employer of the Year Awards is May 3, 2013. To find out more information and how to enter, visit:

Colleges, schools and learning providers interested in staging a ‘Have a Go’ event for VQ Day should visit the VQ Day website, and download a guidance form or contact / t: 0207 025 6652