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Milestone celebration for industry awarding organisation

EAL is celebrating 20 years as the specialist-awarding organisation for industry qualifications – having awarded hundreds of thousands of people with qualifications and reinvested tens of millions into its sectors.

Ann Watson, Managing Director of EAL

The anniversary is being marked with a Parliamentary reception at the House of Commons today (Wednesday 21 March), when MPs and senior civil servants, business representatives, training providers, and learners will gather to celebrate the milestone.

Ann Watson, Managing Director of EAL (pictured), said: “We are very proud of our track record in helping businesses and organisations of all sizes, around the UK and abroad, to develop the skills and knowledge of their workforce. EAL has always been committed to working closely with employers and industry bodies, so they can draw on our specialist knowledge to design and award qualifications that meet the real challenges they face in the workplace. Because of this, 500,000 people embarking on an EAL qualification in the last five years can have confidence that their achievements will be respected in industry, and help them to develop their careers.

“By continually reinvesting our surplus in developing new qualifications, we play a vital role in helping to ensure that companies have the skills to be competitive in a global marketplace. In the last 10 years alone, EAL has reinvested over £10million into the industries we serve. Without this investment, for example, significant parts of the engineering workforce would be without qualifications that are fundamental to its future success.”

The Parliamentary reception is being hosted by Gordon Birtwistle, MP for Burnley and Chair of the new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Apprenticeships, which was developed by EAL and IMI Awards. It is the only Parliamentary group dedicated to apprenticeships, and will focus its attention on the changing demands and support needed by employers and apprentices across all sectors.

Birtwistle said: “As someone who started their career as an engineering apprentice, I know the value of good quality vocational training. Apprenticeships have a vital role to play in helping to deliver economic growth by providing employers with a workforce with the mix of technical and practical skills needed to succeed in an ever more competitive world. EAL has played an important role in ensuring that vocational qualifications meet the needs of employers in the manufacturing, engineering and building services sectors. I am therefore pleased to be able to help EAL in celebrating their 20 years of collaborating with employers to provide qualifications which are valued across industry.”

John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, will also deliver a speech about the state of Apprenticeships in the UK and what Government is doing to boost vocational learning. Representatives of The Colleges’ Partnership and British Airways will give examples of how employer-led industry qualifications and Apprenticeships have contributed to their learners’ successes and helped to raise the skill levels of staff.

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