IEMA responds to adult skills review

5th July 2013

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  • Skills ,
  • Qualifications



Limited employer engagement and a dated view of the UK's skills infrastructure impair the development of vocational qualifications, warned IEMA in its response to a major consultation on adult skills and qualifications

As part of its review of adult vocational qualifications in England, the UK Commission for Skills (UKCES) invited key stakeholders, including IEMA, to contribute to its research.

UKCES is aiming to ensure that employers and individuals value such qualifications. IEMA’s response provided both a professional body’s perspective on the issue and an environmental one.

The Institute believes that a central barrier to the effective development of adult vocational qualifications is the differing levels of employer engagement. Its response states:

“This is in part due to the [UK’s] skills infrastructure which doesn’t reflect a developing economy, but focuses on an outdated description of sectors... Environment and sustainability skills cut across sectors, but the outdated view held by some organisations has resulted in a fragmented and inconsistent approach to the development of environment and sustainability national occupational standards and qualifications.”

As a solution, IEMA recommends increasing the involvement of businesses: “The design of adult vocational qualifications should always be through engagement and participation of industry to ensure that the qualifications developed are fit for purpose and meet the needs of industry both now and, as far as possible, in the future.”

UKCES says the review will ensure that future adult vocational qualifications: are deliverable in a wide range of contexts; have a recognised identity; provide a passport for learners into and through a career; equip people with competency and support upskilling; and are trusted and respected by both employers and individuals.

To read IEMA’s full response, visit

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