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Supporting Breckland Jobs

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Speak to an advisor

Talk to one of our dedicated support team members to find out how West Suffolk College can improve your business.

Advice & Help Centre

The Employer Partnership Scheme has been designed to provide the opportunity for our Employers to upskill their workforce through improving their maths and English skills.

Why be involved in the Scheme?

  • To set yourself apart as an employer of choice
  • The opportunity to invest in your employees and the wider community
  • To improve productivity, internal communications and employee retention
  • Facilitating self-driven learning
  • Making employees more culturally aware and sensitive to diversity
  • Making learning part of the workflow
  • Promoting team integration inside and outside work
  • Enhancing job satisfaction
  • Developing the skills of your employees

The offer?

A range of flexible and work-focused qualifications are available for employees who are ready and motivated to improve their basic skills and gain a certification in maths and English.

This can be facilitated in the workplace itself or through one of our local learning teaching centres; either within or outside working hours subject to operational requirements of both the workplace and the college.

What are Functional Skills Qualifications?

Functional Skills involves studying contextualised and relevant scenarios to learn problem-solving skills in maths and English.

There are no formal entry requirements for Functional Skills, so it doesn’t matter if this is the first qualification for your employees.

Employees will complete an initial assessment to enable us to know what level of entry is right for them and to place them in an appropriate class. There are 5 qualification levels: Entry Level 1, 2 and 3 and Level 1 and 2.

Students start at their current assessed level and will be supported through to their required level of achievement.

What is a pass in Functional Skills equivalent to?

Functional Skills qualifications are often compared to GCSEs. Rough equivalencies can be found below:

 Level: Equivalent:
 Entry Level 1-3  Achievement is below GCSE level
 Level 1  Half a GCSE at grade D/E
 Level 2  Half a GCSE at grade B

How long is a course? When, how, where?

Each course is tailor-made to suit you as the employer. They can start and finish at any time of the year, inhouse or at one of our local learning centres. Cohort sizes will be in mutual agreement with you but we would expect a minimum of 8.

Classes are typically 2-3 hours per week for each student covering 12-18 weeks.

It is imperative to the success of the programme that students can attend a minimum of 90% of the course, therefore it is prudent to plan the course effectively around peak production and holiday times. Starting times are fixed, flexible to working hours of the business.

What will the courses cover?

The courses are designed to be practical. It will teach ‘real world’ everyday situations where maths and English skills will be utilised. For English, these are; Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing and for maths, these are; Number, Measure Shape and Space and Statistics and Data.

Classes will be fun and interactive with individual and group learning. Homework will be encouraged.

How much will it cost?

English and maths qualifications are a legal entitlement and are fully funded through the Adult Education Budget (subject to eligibility – please ask for further details).

If you teach in-house, what do we need to provide?

A quiet room with a table and enough chairs for each student. We provide the lesson resources including pen and notebook.

A (large as possible) whiteboard is a necessity for the tutor. Any other resources e.g. Wi-Fi, calculators, dictionaries and projection facilities are useful tools.

Do we have to pay our staff while they are at class?

This is entirely down to your business model. It is not a necessity, although case studies have shown that paying staff to learn undoubtedly produces better results for retention.

What can we offer as a company after they qualify at Level 2?

Employees can progress to other courses that West Suffolk College offer including vocational, GCSE English and Maths, and as an approved ILM centre - Leadership, Management and Coaching training. West Suffolk College is also a partner of the University of Suffolk with dozens of degrees available.

For more information

Please email:
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