Principles for Vocational Qualifications in Northern Ireland

Consultation opened on 15 December 2022. Closing date 09 March 2023.


The principles for vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland seek to provide an underlying foundation to ensure learners are provided with high quality vocational education and Northern Ireland’s industry can access the highly skilled and resilient workforce it needs. This consultation document sets out these six proposed principles and seeks your views on them.


Consultation description

Vocational qualifications underpin a wide range of departmental programmes such as apprenticeships and traineeships and are delivered in a range of educational settings including further education colleges, training organisations, businesses and schools.

This consultation seeks to present you with a set of underpinning principles that the Department believes are required to ensure that vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland:

  • continue to support our employer-led and high-quality departmental programmes and initiatives;
  • support delivery of our Skills Strategy and our 10x vision for economic growth;
  • provide appropriate learner pathways at all stages that are valued by all key stakeholders including employers, parents, learners, educators and policymakers both in Northern Ireland and elsewhere; and
  • can adapt to market changes and unexpected events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

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