The SFEDI Awards Passport to Enterprise and Employment is a fantastic new Level 1 qualification designed to offer individuals real flexibility as they improve their social development, self-employment and employability skills. We spoke to Nic Preston, SFEDI Awards’s Head of Quality, about the carefully designed, comprehensive qualification.
Over the past few months, enterprise educators have been beginning to teach the new SFEDI Awards Passport to Enterprise and Employment, which takes as its starting point both the IOEE National Enterprise Standards and the European wide Entrecomp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework. Nic Preston, one of the team behind the new qualification spoke to us about it and how it presents a broad array of personal, social, employability and self-employment skills as a ‘pick and mix’ selection that learning institutions can tailor to their own specific requirements. He said:
“What we’re doing is presenting learning providers with a wide-ranging, comprehensive qualification. From that, they can choose the most appropriate combination of units to meet the needs of their own specific learners. This is one of the most flexible personal, social and employment qualifications on the market.”
In fact, the SFEDI Awards Passport to Enterpise and Employment qualification is so flexible that it’s technically possible for several learners on the same programme to all, as individuals, study slightly different variations of the course. However, whichever units learners select, the numerous elements of the qualification are designed to complement one another, helping learners to develop enterprising characteristics, fine-tune their emotional intelligence, make a better contribution to society as good citizens, improve their prospects as employees, and seriously consider the factors involved in self-employment. The qualification has just one mandatory unit – Developing an Enterprising Character; every other unit follows on from the core proposition that individuals can become more enterprising. Nic says:
“Being enterprising in this context doesn’t necessarily mean becoming self-employed. It could mean becoming more creative or a better problem solver, or better at spotting interesting opportunities.”
Having completed this one mandatory unit, learners go on to make up their qualification by selecting from further units, of which there are 54 in total. These are split into three umbrella categories. The first is Personal and Social Development, which includes units such as Communication Skills, Completing Voluntary Work and Equality and Diversity. As Nic explains, a significant part of the qualification’s remit is to help trainers imbue their learners with good citizenship skills. He says:
“The qualification is the first of its type and it was developed in response to a new European wide framework that has the objective of creating better citizens. The thinking is that if you’re a better citizen you can make a better contribution to society, either by becoming a self-employed person or by investing in your community. That’s why part of the qualification asks learners, ‘as a citizen, how can you get involved, how can you play your part, how can you be a better person in this society?’”
The second umbrella category from which learners select units is Employability, which includes a number of practical units, for example Presenting Yourself For Work, Understanding Your Customers, ICT For Employment and Food Safety. Finally, there’s the Self-Employment category. In this category learners are invited to choose from units like Understand Opportunities and Risks Within Business, and Principles of Social Media for Business Use. Teaching of the SFEDI Awards Passport to Enterprise and Employment takes place through discussion, practical activities and self-reflection in a group scenario. Assessments too are primarily a practical undertaking.
If you’d like to find out more about the SFEDI Awards Passport to Enterprise and Employment, get in touch with SFEDI Awards at [email protected]