Session title: Achieving Grade 1 for Employability Skills

Understanding the central importance of employability skill development

Typical inspection issue

  • Too few students on vocational study programmes have the opportunity to gain relevant work skills through substantial work experience.

Information for event organisers

Between October 2017 and January 2018, 30% of colleges received weaknesses around work experience and the development of learners’ employability skills. Of these six colleges, four were graded 3 or 4 overall. Only one of the 20 colleges inspected during this period was judged outstanding in this area, and that was for learners with high needs:

  • Outstanding work experience opportunities for learners with high needs help many to progress into work from supported internships. [Activate Learning, December 2017]

What is the reason for this entire lack of outstanding practice in 16 – 19 Study Programmes? Is it because teachers feel work experience and employability skills are just a ‘bolt-on’ to their schemes of work? Or is it because they are yet to see or define what outstanding practice looks like?

This session is designed to enable delegates to solve some of the perennial issues with this aspect of provision:

  • how do you integrate the development of employability skills in all schemes of work?
  • how do you create meaningful work experiences for learners from non-traditionally work-related subjects?
  • how do you enable learners to add real value to their placement provider, rather than just being a drain on the employer’s time?

The Top 10 Employability Skills and Attributes has been derived from key guidance documents, inspection reports, case studies and how-to guides from DfE, Ofsted, AoC, Jisc, ETF and the Learning & Work Institute, to name but a few. This resource sets out in detail what learners will be able to do under each of the Top 10 headings, and gives examples of how their development can be integrated into schemes of work and brought alive in work-experience projects. Delegates use this discussion tool – a definition of outstanding practice – to self assess their current approach. They then go on to design inventive projects learners can ‘sell’ to employers and complete during placements. These projects ensure learners add definite value to host employers while developing and reflecting on their Top 10 Employability Skills and Attributes.

And a by-product of this work? All the evidence you need for a judgement of outstanding.

Information for potential delegates

Do you have a clear understanding of what constitutes outstanding practice in the provision of work experience and the development of learners’ employability skills? Do you sometimes feel that this is yet another agenda forced on you by government policy makers, and perhaps even that it is a distraction from your core business of getting learners through their qualifications?

Whatever your views of this aspect of our work, this session aims to get to grips with the issues and give a clear understanding of what outstanding practice looks like. And by the end of the session, you may even be of the opinion that the development of learners’ expert/independent/employability skills is the central core of our work, with subject content and qualifications no more than a vehicle with which to achieve them.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

  • compare their understanding of employability skills against a given list, and to identify any gaps
  • use their understanding of the challenges of keeping a learner wholeheartedly engaged during a work placement to inform the design of appropriate preparation strategies and in-placement projects
  • identify the most suitable units and/or projects in their scheme of work with which to develop employability skills
  • use their understanding of Ofsted requirements to set out a broad plan for the integration of employability-skill development throughout the scheme of work.

Timing

Achieving Grade 1 in Employability Skills is a half-day session. This session would combine well with:

Contact

To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.