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A nickname given, initially by the press, to qualifications which are awarded by employers and subsequently recognized and accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). The nickname arises from the publicity given to the first of these cases early in 2008, when a qualification awarded by a chain of fast food restaurants to its managers who had followed a structured in‐house training programme was awarded National Vocational Qualification status at level 3 by the QCA, equivalent to Advanced Levels. The significance of this development is in its recognition of the contribution which employers can make to the vocational education and training system, which is claimed by some to mark a liberalization in the provision of vocational training. The sensationalist and in some cases scornful response to this development in the press and elsewhere may be indicative of an enduring view of vocational qualifications as invested with a lower status or value than their academic or general equivalent.

Subjects: Education.

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