Skill Importance and accredited Qualifications Providers: the INGOTs

The EC in March 2009 decided to invest in physical infrastructures, in line with the conclusions of the last 2008 European Council stating the importance of developing broadband internet.

The ECDL Foundation responded with a position paper outlining why ICT investments should be complemented by investments in skills development, and I asked an opinion to Ian Lynch, education lead for the community and the man behind a family of qualifications called The INGOTs.

There is no doubt that focus on developing people is important if investments in physical infrastructure are to realize their potential. Skills are an important part of this but so are higher level attributes such as safe on-line working, attitudes to open systems, value for money and community participation. Any EU initiatives for qualifications should be put out to tender or allow competition between accredited qualifications providers because this will ensure best value and provide the possibility of differences in approach. In order to meet the needs of inclusion and equality of opportunity, suites of qualifications designed to support progression through the levels of the European Qualification Framework (EQF) are needed starting with the very simplest to enable those people with a poor educational background to participate.

How does the INGOTs fit into the picture?

This is what the INGOTs were designed to do. They provide progression routes to Level 3 of the EQF at low cost from the lowest levels of attainment. Furthermore, all aspects can be achieved without any need to buy any software or other resources keeping costs down and enabling learners to become self-sufficient with resources that are freely available from the internet.

Is INGOTs ufficially endorsed by any organization?

INGOTs are endorsed by e-skills the UK Sector Skills Council for ICT, the Open Source Consortium of companies and accredited by Ofqual, the regulatory authorities for Wales (Dells) and Northern Ireland (CCEA). They are also the focus of two EU Comenius Lifelong Learning projects.

INGOTs should get more attention over other European countries, I hope you will be presenting at the next conference here in Italy.