The Development and Effectiveness of GNVQs: Using Engineering as a Case Study.

Trinder, Michael John (2000). The Development and Effectiveness of GNVQs: Using Engineering as a Case Study. MPhil thesis The Open University.



This thesis is an investigation into the development and effectiveness of General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQ), using the Engineering GNVQ as a case study. As part of this investigation I have examined the provision of vocational education and training (VET) since the start of the Industrial Revolution. There has been a continuing problem over the years in supplying enough appropriately trained personnel for the engineering industry in this country.

Government policy has been, for most of the time, to leave training policy to the companies themselves. It is only in the second half of the twentieth century that governments have become involved, through statutes, in the provision of training for industry. In the 1970s and 80s there was also a political reason for providing training schemes for young people, which was growing youth unemployment.

The method of research chosen for this investigation was:
1. Historical Research. This has involved examining the literature to examine the history of training in this country, though primary sources such Acts of Parliament, White Papers, and Official Reports, and secondary sources through examining the literature base.

2. Interviews and Questionnaires. This part of the research was carried out in two colleges in southern England, using both students and staff in these colleges. By using two methods I was able to confirm the results of the research by triangulation.

The results have shown that there has been a continual lack of co-ordination in training between companies and the government until recent times, and the GNVQ was one of the methods introduced to break down the barriers between academic and vocational education. The results have also shown that the effects of the GNVQ to improve vocational education have been limited, and as a consequence changes are being implemented to the GNVQ to improve its record.

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