Engineers dominate new vocational rich list

Posted on 10 Aug 2011 by The Manufacturer

Almost a quarter of those appearing in the 2011 Vocational Rich List, released today by City & Guilds, are engineers with a combined fortune of more than £6.21bn

Topping the list is the JCB industrialist Sir Anthony Bamford, whose fortune rose to £2.15bn this year. He is joined by world renowned inventor Sir James Dyson, Sir David McMurtry and John Deer who co-founded Renishaw, Jim McColl of Scottish engineering group Clyde Blowers and Ron Dennis of McLaren – all of whom made their millions from engineering.

As well as making their millions from pursuing careers in engineering, every one of them reached the top of their game having followed a vocational route rather than taking a traditional academic path by attending university.

Commenting on the rich list, Ann Watson, Managing Director of EAL, the specialist awarding organisation for industry qualifications, said: “This is welcome news for vocational learning and should help quash misconceptions that vocational qualifications are somehow less valid than academic ones. Arguably, a vocational route is actually more valuable in terms of career progression, as the success of those on the Vocational Rich List demonstrates.

“A vocational route can be better in terms of employability too. Recent research on behalf of the Edge Foundation by the University of Glasgow found that employers are frustrated that university courses do meet their needs and that even when they serve on Higher Education Committees, their views on course design are often disregarded. Conversely, at EAL for example, we ensure our apprenticeships and vocational qualifications are relevant to employers through our focus on our core industry sectors and our long-term partnership with industry.

“As the exam results for A-levels and GCSEs loom, and young people start to make choices about their futures, I hope this vocational rich list will inspire them to consider apprenticeships and industry qualifications as a way to help boost their employability and set them up for future career success”.

The 2011 City & Guilds Vocational Rich List was independently compiled by Philip Beresford, author of the annual Sunday Times Rich List. Its publication in advance of WorldSkills London 2011 aims to inspire people to participate in the UK’s biggest showcase of vocational skills for over 20 years, which takes place from 5-8 October at the ExCel centre, London.