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ERIC Number: ED530084
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 42
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-2045-6557
An Analysis of the Benefit of NVQ2 Qualifications Acquired at Age 26-34. CEE DP 106
De Coulon, Augustin; Vignoles, Anna
Centre for the Economics of Education (NJ1)
The purpose of this report is to determine the extent to which NVQ2 qualifications, when acquired in a person's late twenties and early thirties, encourage progression on to other learning and/or lead to other beneficial changes in a person's economic circumstances. The project will provide evidence to help inform the Department about whether NVQ2 qualifications are likely to contribute to individuals' productivity and to assist in attempts to improve qualification design and delivery. The report will also provide evidence on the likely effects of the historical policy emphasis on reaching level 2. One issue of pressing policy importance is to explain why the wage returns to NVQ2 qualifications appear to be minimal (Dearden et al. 2000; McIntosh 2002 and Dearden et al. 2004). Although this question has been addressed in a number of different academic studies, we will provide up to date information on the extent to which NVQ2 specifically, when acquired in mid career, can provide wage (and employment) benefits. For the analysis, we use quantitative analysis methods applied to the rich data from the British Cohort Study (1970) data (BCS). The specific research questions we will be able to address are: (1) What are the characteristics of individuals who acquire NVQ2 qualifications in their twenties and thirties? In particular can we describe these individuals in terms of their prior ability, gender, ethnicity, other education and parental background?; (2) Do those who acquire NVQ2 qualifications in their twenties and thirties experience wage gains or employment changes subsequently? Is there any lag in the effect of NVQ2 on wages or employment?; (3) How does the acquisition of NVQ2 qualifications specifically compare, in terms of learning, wage and employment outcomes, as compared to the acquisition of other level 2 qualifications?; and (4) Are individuals who acquire NVQ2 qualifications before the age of 30 more likely to go on to subsequent spells of learning (either accredited or non-accredited learning), as compared to a) individuals who have undertaken other forms of level 2 learning; and b) those who have undertaken no adult learning? The report is structured as follows. We start in section 2 by very briefly summarizing previous research evidence on this issue. We then describe the data and methods used in section 3. In section 4 we investigate the characteristics of individuals who acquire a NVQ2 between the ages of 26 and 34. We will also explore the extent to which there has been any trend change in the acquisition of NVQ2 over the period 1996-2004 for this particular cohort (BCS participants have been interviewed in 1996, 2000 and 2004). Normally we would expect a lower incidence of lifelong learning as individuals get older. However, as various policies have been introduced over the period, this may have increased the likelihood of lifelong learning and we can (descriptively) determine whether there has been any change in the incidence of this form of lifelong learning for this cohort. In section 5 we will then examine the relationship between acquiring an NVQ2 and subsequent changes in both wages and employment. In section 6 we will explore the extent to which acquiring an NVQ2 leads individuals to engage in more learning/ qualification acquisition in subsequent periods. Section 7 concludes. (Contains 17 tables and 13 footnotes.) [Additional funding for this paper was provided by the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills.]
Centre for the Economics of Education. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK. Tel: +44-20-7955-7673; Fax: +44-20-7955-7595; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Department for Children, Schools and Families
Authoring Institution: London School of Economics & Political Science, Centre for the Economics of Education