This paper was published as Working Paper 45 by the Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester. It is also available from http://www.clms.le.ac.uk/research/wpapers.lassoThis paper undertakes a retrospective on National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).\ud It will do so by looking at the ideas that motivated the proponents of NVQs and those\ud which animated their critics, re-examining arguments which were vehemently traded\ud at the time. Though I shall devote a short section to the arguments of the proponents,\ud I shall take more time to examine the criticisms, and particularly to ask whether these\ud criticisms were particular to NVQs, or whether they could be applied to other\ud qualifications. Though this is not intended as a statistical enquiry, I shall look briefly\ud at the current take-up of NVQs before concluding with an evaluation of their current\ud place in the constellation of UK qualifications and what the NVQ experience might\ud say about the prospects for future system-wide reform of qualifications
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