New employability qualification launched

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A Level two certificate in employability skills is being made available to employees across all job sectors, helping them to be more effective in the workplace.

Developed by Education Development International (EDI) the qualification is aimed at both current employees and individuals wishing to enter the job market.

Available from April 2008, the Level two certificate is designed to help learners gain a better understanding of the skills required both to enter employment and to work to their full potential within their role. The certificate is not specific to any sector and is suitable for a wide range of job roles and industries.

One of the key principles proposed in the Leitch Report is to “focus on economically valuable skills”. According to the report: “wherever possible, skills should be portable to deliver mobility in the labour market for individuals and employers”. Assessed through a combination of assignment and a multiple choice test, the certificate can be delivered in 40 guided learning hours - either through a programme of off-the-job learning or through courses at a school, college or other training establishment.

Developed in response to the demand for employable and qualified people, the certificate focuses on skills that help people gain and retain jobs, in any role and in any sector. These encompass health, safety and security in the workplace, essential communication and interpersonal skills, team skills and how to build positive working relationships.

Through developing such ‘soft skills’, it is hoped that learners will not only have an improved knowledge of their role in the workplace but also have the confidence to be more effective within it. With personal effectiveness a key element of the certificate, candidates learn to analyse individual behaviours, such as how to manage stress and personal feelings and how to respond to challenging situations and conflicts in the workplace. Successful communication is key to success in any role and this certificate enables learners to focus on their verbal and written skills, from body language and voice tones to active listening and presentation skills.

The certificate provides candidates with a strong general skills base, upon which they can build more qualifications, such as NVQs,

Nigel Snook, chief executive of Education Development International, commented: “All employers are looking for individuals that can demonstrate the kind of personal and soft skills needed to succeed in the work place. This qualification will not only help candidates prove that they are committed to achieving their full potential within their role but enable them to develop skills that will be useful throughout their entire career. Employers will not only benefit from a more skilled workforce but also a more productive and effective one.”

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