"Young Person�s Guide to Foundation Learning"
Young Person’s Guide to Foundation Learning post-16 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 year olds. 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 exams. Foundation Learning is made up of 3 areas that are really important to employers: Vocational knowledge, skills and understanding (in your chosen career area) Personal, social and employability skills Practical English, mathematics and ICT for everyday use (called functional skills) 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. 1 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. 2 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 full qualification. 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, Motor Vehicle, Construction Trades, Hospitality & Leisure. The qualifications that you will gain on Foundation Learning will be recognised by employers, training providers and colleges, therefore 3 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. 4 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 may need. 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. 5