Young Person’s Guide to Foundation Learning
Everything you need to know about Foundation Learning
What levels does it cover?
Foundation Learning offers a new flexible way of learning for 14-19
You will agree an individual learning plan with your key worker that will
help you to achieve entry level and level 1 qualifications and move onto
level 2 learning without having to repeat previous learning or retake
Foundation Learning is made up of 3 areas that are really important to
Vocational knowledge, skills and understanding (in your chosen
Personal, social and employability skills
Practical English, mathematics and ICT for everyday use (called
So, if you feel that learning in the traditional classroom based way
didn’t work for you and you would prefer to learn skills and gain
knowledge that will help you in the world of work and in everyday life
then Foundation Learning may be a good option for you.
Foundation Learning courses will give you an opportunity to gain
qualifications from the new Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF).
There are a wide range of qualifications and they have been developed
with employers so many of them are the same type of qualifications that
are used in Apprenticeships.
How are they covered in Foundation Learning?
Foundation Learning will also give you a chance to gain Functional
Skills qualifications in maths, English and ICT at a level that suits you.
You will probably find functional skills slightly different from the maths
and English that you were taught at school. They are nationally
recognised qualifications that are designed to teach you the skills that
employers are looking for to help you do your job when you are at work.
They focus on the skills that you will need in real life, like using
numbers at work. They will also help you in your personal life with
things like budgeting your money.
From 2010 Functional Skills will be a part of all Apprenticeships and
college programmes and they are already part of the new Diplomas.
Foundation Learning is planned to suit you. You will develop the skills
and confidence you need to move onto the next level of learning.
Your Foundation Learning programme is successfully completed when
you are ready to move onto learning at level 2. Along the way you’ll gain
a range of nationally recognised qualifications.
Depending on your starting point you could progress onto an
Apprenticeship within 2-3 months. Learning will be at your own pace
and a programme is put together to make sure that you progress with
confidence to the next level.
YES - Foundation Learning can help you to progress onto
Apprenticeships, Diplomas and other general college courses and also
help you to get employment. Very often Foundation Learning courses
are the entry requirement for other courses leading to employment.
What’s more some of the qualifications you will gain can be reused as
you progress in your learning, through a system called credit
accumulation and transfer where credits that you gain will build into a
Foundation Learning is valued by employers and they have been
involved in the design of the qualifications. Most Foundation Learning
programmes also include extended work experience which provides an
opportunity for you to find out what’s involved in a specific job.
Spending time as part of a Foundation Learning programme in a ‘real’
working environment will be important to get some experience that you
can include in a CV when you are ready to apply for an Apprenticeship
or a job.
Foundation Learning can prepare you for many different types of work
and it will depend on what is on offer in the area where you live but
most job areas should be available in Foundation Learning including;
Retail and Customer Services,
Sport and Fitness,
Health and Social Care,
Business Administration and ICT,
Hair & Beauty Services,
Hospitality & Leisure.
The qualifications that you will gain on Foundation Learning will be
recognised by employers, training providers and colleges, therefore
they can help to give you the skills needed to be able to complete an
Apprenticeship and perform well in a job.
If you don’t meet the entry criteria for an Apprenticeship you still have
a range of choices. For example it may be better to start a Diploma at
college, but, the flexibility of Foundation Learning and the chance to
select qualifications that meet employers’ entry criteria means that a
Foundation Learning programme may provide you with a quick route to
what you want to do.
Foundation Learning is available at entry level and level 1. The
Foundation Diploma is available at level 1 and above. Foundation
Learning tends to be a little more flexible than the Diploma as you can
mix both the level of the qualifications you are taking and explore more
than one vocational area. You can easily transfer from a Foundation
Learning programme to a Diploma at Foundation of Higher Level if it is
the right option for you.
Foundation Learning will let you learn about different job areas. Some
providers will give you the chance to try out different jobs and gain a
qualification at the same time.
You will complete small units of work while you learn. This means that
you can transfer between courses and providers within Foundation
learning and still complete a full qualification.
If you are in Year 10 or 11 you might spend time in school developing
your vocational skills. You will spend time in school developing
employability skills and practical skills in English, maths and ICT. You
might also continue to do some GCSE learning.
A typical week in a post-16 programme might include,
Monday; Vocational Skills learning in the training centre
Tuesday: English at work/ICT in the work place/career planning and
making job applications
Wednesday: Work Placement
Thursday: Team work project/maths at work
Friday; Vocational skills learning/progress review.
If you are interested in Foundation Learning you can get information,
advice and guidance from Connexions. If you start the programme
you’ll have a named personal tutor who you can sit down with on a
regular basis and work out how things are going and what support you
You could also get EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) if you have
left school, up to £30 a week depending on your family’s income. If it is
needed you will get support for childcare costs and any necessary
special equipment if you have a disability.