What are WorkSkills qualifications?
WorkSkills is a suite of BTEC qualifications designed to equip learners with the essential skills for job success and career development. The main purpose is to develop learners’ employability skills. There is a large choice of units that fully reflect the realities of the modern workplace. What makes this suite really useful is that it works perfectly as an enhancement to other programmes. A group of learners can sit a single unit at a time helping to develop their employability skills as well as giving the tutor a foundation on which to build literacy, numeracy or digital skills.
How do WorkSkills qualifications work?
With the WorkSkills suite you have a choice of offering qualifications at one of five levels from Entry 1 to Level 2, meaning you can deliver the same unit across a range of levels depending on the needs of your learners. You also have a choice in the size of the qualification too. You can offer one unit of 35 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) to create a Subsidiary Award, two units totaling 70 GLH to create an Award, three units totaling 105 GLH to create an Extended Award or six units totaling 210 GLH to create a Certificate. This gives you immense flexibility in your offer. You can run the programme as the backbone of a Study Programme or you can pick and choose units to enhance other learning or develop employability skills for Adult Education Budget funded learners. This flexibility makes them the perfect choice for traineeship programmes, pre-apprenticeships or a programme to support learners moving on to a T Level. Often learners arrive needing just a little bit more development and time before starting a mainstream programme at Level 2 or 3. It might be they need to develop their academic skills or that they are unsure of what area they want to study. WorkSkills can provide the development these learners need.
WorkSkills and ESOL
Many ESOL learners lack the qualifications necessary to find work. WorkSkills can help fill that gap. By offering WorkSkills alongside ESOL Awards, learners can build up their skills and qualifications over a shortened period of time. ESOL Awards offer learners the opportunity to achieve qualifications more quickly and regularly than the Full Certificates and WorkSkills can support this too.
Learners studying Speaking and Listening at Entry 3 could also complete a WorkSkills unit in Taking Part in an Interview (at E3) or Prepare and Participate in an Interview (at L1). This would help give a context to the ESOL qualification as well as developing the interview skills of the learner. Learners studying either Reading or Writing ESOL Awards could supplement their learning with units on Completing Application Forms or Supporting Customer Needs.
WorkSkills and EDSQ
It is not just ESOL learners, now that Pearson’s Essential Digital Skills Qualifications have a work-based context, WorkSkills can be combined with digital learning too. The WorkSkills units can be used to foster a better understanding of digital learning and develop the key skills needed for the EDSQ assessment.
At Plato Training we deliver WorkSkills alongside our vocational qualifications, to enable our learners to utilise what has been learnt against relevant vacancies and to boost their chance of being successful when applying for work. Learners are not always aware of how many different career pathways are available within a sector, or the skills and qualities needed for specific job roles. Choosing to deliver the WorkSkills qualification has enhanced our delivery and has helped prepare our learners to gain employment.
Claire Dodd, Operations Manager, Plato Training (UK) Ltd
We hope the insight and information in this blog will help you support your WorkSkills learners. If you have any further questions, please let us know.
Chris Briggs - Product Manager Post 16 English, Maths and Digital Skills