Home-making skills included in business course

HOME-MAKING skills such as domestic budgeting, receiving visitors and running catalogue shopping have been recognised for the first time in a formal vocational qualification.

Fifteen women from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, have had a variety of domestic tasks included in the evaluation of a National Vocational Qualification level 2 in Business Administration, equivalent to a good pass GCSE or an O-level.

All skills learnt outside the workplace, including unpaid and voluntary work, were assessed. Each woman then completed a portfolio of competence in those areas.

Brian Platt, area manager for the Kirklees and Wakefield Chamber of Commerce, said previous experience was supplemented with conventional teaching in typing, filing and office work. 'A lot of women do things in the home that they do not realise can be transferred to the office,' he said.

The women's previous experience in such things as home budgeting, writing letters to shopkeepers and businesses, helping at a child's school and making and receiving telephone calls were tested in the classroom and were externally verified by assessors from the London Chamber of Commerce.

Ernest Lee, associate director of the London Chamber of Commerce, one of the main awarding bodies for NVQs, said he expected more 'prior achievement' to be taken into account in awarding qualifications.

Voluntary work at the Citizen's Advice Bureau was accredited for one of the women on the course while recognition was made for the skills acquired by a farmer's wife who managed the farm accounts and the sister of a publican who took over the business while he was on holiday.

Sue Lawson, 37, had been unemployed for more than a year after having to leave her job as a presser and examiner in a textile factory because of illness.

She said: 'I had no confidence whatsoever. I never expected to work in an office as I always had worked in a clothing factory and before that was an apprentice hairdresser.

'But you do a lot of things at home that can be used at work,' she said.

Ms Lawson begins work today at the Chamber of Commerce as a receptionist while several of those on the course are on work placements with other firms.

The ability to take previous experience into consideration has meant that the time taken to achieve NVQ level 2 has been cut to 20 weeks. School-leaver trainees can take up to two years on Youth Training to reach the same standard.

Barnsley and Doncaster Training and Enterprise Council, which funded the project, is expected to develop further training for women returners.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'