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AIM for Progression: Tips from your Curriculum Support Team

Employability Programme Design: How to choose your funded units

Of interest to: Programme Manager for JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) learners and Work Programme learners

AIM Awards have just published their extracted AIM list of funded units from the February 2015 SFA unit list which you can find here. If you are responsible for setting up short fundable courses for the unemployed referred from Job Centre Plus either for specific skills or employability (job seeking skills) this info sheet explains how to set up your courses from AIM Awards qualifications.

The following qualifications have units which can be used to create your employability programmes. You can easily choose single or small numbers of units from these qualifications to deliver through unit funding by submitting the relevant Qualification Approval Form.

This list summarises characteristics of the unit choices in the different qualifications and identifies the best way to set up courses for different purposes.

Entry 1, Entry 2: Exploring Work Skills includes   

  • A basic 3 credit Award which can be used to introduce occupational areas with two units: Exploring …. and Working in…. there are 12 different pathways, popular options include customer service; retail; hairdressing; travel & tourism.
  • 2 groups of optional units which can be used to select topics suited to short courses: some examples are completing forms; customer service; dealing with customer queries; effective communication in the workplace; looking for work.

For mixed level courses use the Extended Award Qualification Approval Form which contains both E1 and E2 units in the listing. You can select a range of units to create your programme menu, from which different learners may choose individual pathways – if this suits your contract or delivery.

Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3: Developing Work Skills includes

  • Optional units focus on behaviour, time & self-management as well as literacy, numeracy,  ICT relating to work tasks.
  • A range of smaller units: 1 & 2 credits, with some 3 credits.

Entry 3, Level 1: Getting on at Work includes

  • Units within this suite which are typically small – 1 credit (10 GLH at E3).
  • Topics such as problem solving, personal situations such as dealing with bullying as well as job search related units.
  • Suits short courses where you want one unit (day) per topic (CV, job search, job applications) compared to L1 Job Seeking Skills in SEFL which is 3 credits.

Entry 3, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3: SEFL (Skills for Employment and Further Learning)

  • The Employability and Personal Development section has 328 units to choose from
  • 21 different vocational areas – supports introduction to skills and knowledge
  • The qualifications at 9 credits and above provide a spiky profile credit allowance
  • If you want higher level job search / employability: L1 “Creating a Tailored CV“ (3 credits) from SEFL requires more than one CV and the ability to change it for different roles (this would be commonly advised, but is rarely assessed!)

The easiest way to access the units is to use the SEFL Qualification Approval Forms (QAF) – click the unit title to download content. Units are organised into the 21 vocational groups plus a large Employability and Personal Development section.

For mixed level courses use the Extended Award L1 QAF as this provides the mix of E3 L1 L2 units in the listing, so you can produce a flexible menu of units within your course. This allows individual learners to follow different combinations and you will have also provided real personalised learning.

Level 1, Level 2 (Certificate in) Employability (QCF)

Units include customer care; oral presentation skills; undertaking an enterprise project; Financial Literacy: Budgeting and Money Management; personal presentation in the workplace; developing meeting skills.

How to set up your Employability programmes using AIM Awards Qualification Approval Forms:

FINDING THE RIGHT APPROVAL FORM - Courses (programmes) must be set up from a single specific Qualification using the specific Qualification Approval Form (QAF). This form is found on each specific qualification page.

FINDING UNITS BY TOPIC - You can search for unit topics either in the QAF spreadsheet (Ctrl &F) or use the search facility in the Qualifications page e.g. “Curriculum Vitae” will bring up a list of all units with this in the title and show linked qualifications.

Ideas to borrow! Example programmes: What works well already?

  • For ESOL learners needing an introduction to preparation for job search: “Developing Skills for the Workplace Looking and Acting the Part” E2 (2 credits) from Exploring Work suite
  • Retail: merchandising, display, running an enterprise activity; retail selling; retail knowledge
  • Customer Service: Customer Service in the Hospitality Industry;
  • Food Preparation:
  • Budgeting (A/505/0821) L1 unit from SEFL – use for working with those needing support with universal credit budgeting
  • Introduction to Waste and Recycling (from AIM Awards Level 1 Award in Waste and Recycling)

If you need help with setting up your unit funded employability and skills courses, contact the Curriculum Support Team on 01332 861999 or enquiries@aimawards.org.uk


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14 August 2019

New look AIM

As from 2 September 2019, AIM Awards became AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group, shortened to AIM for simplicity with a new brand and logo.
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