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NVQs are the future, if handled with care

LETTERS

Sir, In his letter on operator training, the CITB's Nick Gooderson quite rightly claims that over 300 training centres are delivering intermediate certificates (Letters, September 16).

But the claim that over 50 per cent of the centres are delivering the NVQ qualification is simply not correct.

While over 50 per cent are 'accredited', the great majority of those are not yet physically delivering the NVQ to CPCS card holders. If you ring the training providers listed on the CITB website and request the assessment capability, or the cost of training, there is a vast disparity.

Some very fairly match their charges to what the employer will get by way of grant (£450) but others are seeing the opportunity to make a lot of money out of employers and individual clients.The quotes I received to achieve the NVQ award ranged from £250 to £1,500 per candidate.

In the mad rush to avoid acute embarrassment, the CITB and City & Guilds are attempting to fast-track the qualification with the pilot scheme Mr Gooderson mentions.The probable consequence of this is the erosion of the NVQ standard for plant operators. If not handled correctly, with maximum employer and training provider support, the CITB might end up with an albatross around its neck.

In my view the concept of NVQs is the way ahead, though the means poses a dilemma.

Name and address withheld

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