About BTEC WorkSkills

Find out more about BTEC WorkSkills qualifications, why you should take them and how the course is structured. 

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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.

These qualifications were first launched in 2008 and since then have been extremely successful with significant numbers of learners undertaking programmes each year. There are learners from 14-60 undertaking Workskills qualifications and it is this broad appeal that really sets them apart.

The suites were updated in 2020/21 to reflect current demands in the workplace for all learners working at Entry to Level 2.

The structure of Workskills is flexible and designed to support programmes that are learner-led. You choose the units that best suit your programme and fit into the qualification that is the right size. There is a range of qualification sizes at Entry 1,2,3, Level 1 and Level 2 to ensure that there is one to suit everyone.

Why take WorkSkills qualifications?

Learners take core Workskills qualifications for a variety of different reasons:

  • An enhancement to other courses that they are undertaking, for example GCSE, Study Programme and apprenticeships
  • Back to work programmes for unemployed adults, who need support with their skills and confidence building
  • A main qualification in Study programme/ pre-16 for learners who are following an alternative curriculum
  • As part of a traineeship or other pre-apprenticeship programme

Workskills is very powerful for building learners’ confidence. As it is not included in English performance tables this means that it retains its flexibility in relation to assessment. All units are internally assessed, and the assessment can be undertaken in a way that suits your learners and your programme.

Pearson produces annual research alongside the CBI and one of the long-term findings of this report is that a large number of employers consider that young people’s ‘soft’ employability skills are lacking. Labour Market data also shows that consistently it is young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are most likely to be unemployed in comparison to other age groups. Workskills can help with this preparation and make young people more aware of what the expectations will be at work and what they are likely to face during their working life.

How is the course structured?

Workskills is designed to meet the needs of learners and therefore the course is structured flexibly so that it can be used to support bespoke programmes.

The qualifications measure employability skills but often these skills are developed using a particular activity or context. Examples of when skills are commonly developed include:

  • The process of searching for work
  • Undertaking a group project, for example in Enterprise
  • Work experience placements
  • Planning towards undertaking a particular career path
  • Preparing for apprenticeships

We recommend that prior to building your programme you consider carefully what you want the outcomes to be for learners and how you will achieve it. Then choose the units that will best support the development of these employability skills.