Champion butcher appeals for VQ award

Welsh butcher Tomi Jones is encouraging learners and employers to enter the Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards, launched today (5 February).

Tomi claimed to have received a major boost to his career when he won the VQ Learner of the Year award last year, which recognises learners who demonstrate progression and excellence.

He said: “Winning the VQ Award last year was a massive achievement for me as a butcher, and the publicity surrounding it generated a lot of extra orders for the shop and my online business. It just proves that hard work and dedication gets you to where you want to be.
“I would definitely encourage learners and employers across Wales to enter the award this year. It’s like the National Lottery – you have to be in it to win it. If you win, it will develop you as a person and also get you noticed if you’re in business.”

Having been appointed ambassador for the campaign, entitled ‘Future Skills... food for thought’, Tomi also completed an apprenticeship in butchery skills.

At this year’s award ceremony, called VQ Day, awareness about the role that technical, practical and vocational learning plays in society and in the UK economy will be raised.

Wales’ Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates said: “It’s time that Vocational Qualifications were given the recognition they truly deserve. They are the gold standard in professional excellence and we must ensure they are recognised alongside academic qualifications for their value to learners and the Welsh economy.

“Wales has a real wealth of talented and committed people who have excelled in their vocational studies and VQ Day is a chance for us to celebrate their achievements. As Tomi’s story shows us, a VQ Award is more than just an award; it’s a symbol of dedication towards your chosen profession.

“It’s also equally important that we recognise the role of employers in promoting vocational qualifications in the workplace. Their support and commitment will be vital if we’re to achieve our ambition of creating a more highly-skilled Wales.”

The award ceremony will take place 4 June.

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