How to use a qualification to meet your career guidance duties

We’re committed to helping schools meet their career guidance duties by developing solutions for employability skills development that meet the expectations of employers. To ensure your learners leave school with the ‘soft’ or transferable skills they need to get on in the workplace, we researched the top skills requested by employers and created a suitable cluster of units within a qualification to meet those demands.

The Level 2 Certificate in Employability Skills has been developed to prepare school leavers for entering the world of work and support learners with their employability. Only half of the 18,000 employers in the Employer Perspectives Survey, published by the Department for Education (DfE) in 2017, said recruits coming from education were prepared for work. This was reiterated by respondents to a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) survey in 2018, which found that 8 out of 10 British school leavers lack the ‘essential business skills’ needed for work.

To give schools leavers an edge, we’ve developed our ‘top skills’ cluster which includes 8 units to address the key employability skills that are most frequently cited by employers.

These are:

  • problem solving
  • communication
  • self-management
  • teamwork
  • creativity
  • numeracy
  • digital skills
  • and being informed.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) voiced concerns about the lack of awareness in new recruits (at all levels) of how businesses and organisations work, customers’ needs, and the world of work. As a direct response, we introduced the ‘business and customer awareness’ unit which will introduce learners to some of the key aspects of working life, e.g. what it means to be an employee. The other units in this qualification have been included to help learners prepare for entering the workplace and gain essential employability skills. 

In the ‘managing your time’ unit, learners are introduced to time keeping as well as elementary time management. It covers developing a sense of responsibility and control when it comes to time, how to work with appropriate people to identify priorities, how to identify when support might be needed and who to ask. The unit will look at why punctuality, reliability and the need for preparation are important in the workplace.

The different types of problems learners might encounter in the workplace and how to apply problem solving techniques as well as developing solutions, is covered in the ‘problem solving in a place of work’ unit, building on current levels of understanding of problem solving in a home, education or social situation.

‘Planning a budget’ introduces the types of expectations business have of the numerical skills required in the work place and applying their maths knowledge in a practical way.

During the qualification, learners will also gain the basic skills needed to work with others in a practical way and develop good working relationships through the ‘working in a team’ unit and they will learn to work safely and be healthy at work through the ‘health, safety and security in the workplace’ unit.

The concept of creative thinking is introduced in the ‘creative thinking’ unit, which covers what creative thinking might be, when it is and isn’t appropriate and tools which can develop and support it.

Learners will see how the different types of information used at work and cover topics such as presenting information in different formats depending on purpose and audience, data presentation and use of ICT within the context of presenting work-based information in the ‘presenting information’ unit.

Alongside our employability qualifications, we also offer other tools to help schools meet their career guidance duties, including Blending Learning resources, BESTest (Baseline Employability Skills Test) and tips for teachers, which can be found on our CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) page.

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