Supporting Young People and Adults to Upskill and Retrain

The pandemic is reshaping the jobs market, with some sectors temporarily closing and others growing. Consequently, it is likely that we will see an uptake in young people and adults wanting to upskill and retrain in order to future proof and protect themselves from further rapid change in the job market.

As educators it’s important that we prepare young people and adults looking to embark on new careers in these growing sectors – such as the health sector – and provide them all with the key skills to help them stand out to employers and be confident in a competitive job market. Below we look at our most popular qualifications that education providers are turning to in order to prepare learners for the workplace and career changes.

Access to Higher Education

Access to Higher Education is a popular route into Higher Education for learners who don’t have the standard entry requirements. At Ascentis, we are the largest Access Validation Agency in the UK and have 29 Diploma titles to choose from.

Popular Diploma titles include:

• Allied Health Professions

• Business

• Engineering Science

• Counselling and Psychology

• Health and Social Care

• Health Sciences and Well-being

• Nursing and Midwifery

• Paramedic Science 

• Primary Teaching

Essential Digital Skills

These brand new qualifications at Entry 3 and Level 1 provide adults with the essential digital skills for day-to-day life and work, and allow them to navigate and progress in the digital world with confidence. They are mapped to the National Standards for Essential Digital Skills and are fully funded under a new legal entitlement. Tutor guidance is provided to help you teach these qualifications and learners are encouraged to use digital devices throughout the course of the qualifications, giving them an extra opportunity to engage with the online facilities and a range of software.


Our Employability Qualifications are suitable for inclusion in Study Programmes and Traineeships as they teach a range of skills valued by employers. They are ideal for learners who are unemployed and looking to return to the workplace. They are designed to build confidence, help learners to demonstrate work readiness, improve sector-specific skills, build transferrable skills to support workplace integration, and understand relationships and expectations within a working environment.

Popular qualifications include:

Entry 1,2 and 3 Award in Using Employability Skills - these qualifications cover 3 areas: personal and social development, work skills, and vocational skills. They help learners overcome barriers to employment and learn new skills in specific areas of employability.

Entry 2, 3 and Level 1 in Skills for Employment - introduction to the skills needed to gain employment and build confidence. Example of units included are CV Writing, Applying for A Job, ICT for Employment, and Rights and Responsibilities.

Entry 3, Level 1 and 2 Award in Work Preparation - includes introductory units on various industries e.g. engineering, health and social care, building and construction, hair and beauty, business admin and many more. Other units include CV Writing and Applying for A Job.

Level 1 Award in Career Planning and Development - helps learners to develop their skills to plan their career path. It also helps learners to understand career opportunities and how to make career decisions.

These qualifications are assessed through a portfolio of evidence and are suitable for blended learning.

Progression to Further Learning & Work

This group of qualifications can be tailored to the needs of the individual learner and offer the opportunity for them to develop a wide range of life and vocational skills.

Popular qualifications include:

Entry 3 and Level 1 in Character Education – aimed at learners who will benefit from reflection and adaption of their own behaviour. It trains them to work effectively as a team and how to manage and adapt their behaviour and conduct themselves in the workplace.

Entry 3 and Level 1 Identity and Belonging in Modern Britain - to help learners explore their identities and work towards understanding their own sense of belonging, in order to achieve a skill set that will enable them to operate independently and effectively in every part of work, education and life in modern Britain.

• Level 1 Award and Certificate in Introduction to Health and Social Care – this qualification allows learners to explore and develop knowledge about the health and social care sector to help them decide whether working in the sector is the right choice for them. The qualification’s comprehensive coverage of the roles within health and social care allows learners to make decisions with confidence around their first steps in a learning pathway working towards their chosen career.

All of the qualifications above are funded through the Local Flexibility Offer, and are assessed through a portfolio of evidence making them suitable for classroom and blended learning.

Short Online Qualifications (SOQs)

Designed in line with Ofsted’s priorities and with e-Invigilation available, these qualifications are ideal for remote, blended and classroom learning. With 25 titles to choose from, our SOQs allow your learners to quickly develop key skills for life and work, enhancing their personal development.

Popular SOQs, funded through Adult Education Budget, include:

Level 1 Award in Infection Control and Prevention

Entry 3 Award in Healthy Living for Well-being and Mental Health

Entry 3 and Level 1 Award in Equality and Diversity

Entry 3 in Introduction to an Inclusive Environment

Level 1 Award in Mental Health & Well-being

Level 1 Award in Understanding Employment, Business and Enterprise

Level 1 Award in Understanding Safeguarding for Work, Education and Life 

Brand new for 2021 are glossaries for each SOQ to help learners with any technical language and tutor guidance to support with the teaching of these qualifications.


These qualifications can be used individually or as part of a wider programme of learning. They are flexible, and contain a range of unit options enabling customised learning based on learner strengths, needs, circumstances or preferences.

Popular qualifications within this suite include:

Level 2 Award in Infection Prevention and Control– this qualification is designed to give learners a good understanding of the causes of infection and how these can be controlled in relevant settings, such as hospitals and care homes. It is mapped to the National Occupational Standards (NOS), and can be delivered in the workplace, as a classroom-based or a blended learning programme.

Level 2 Certificate in Mental Health Awareness– this qualification introduces the learner to various mental health disorders and how to respond to them.

These qualifications are fully funded and assessed through a portfolio of evidence.

If you have any questions on any of the above qualifications, require further information or would like a virtual meeting please contact us here.

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“We are very pleased that we made the move to Ascentis for all our ESOL exams. The exams are appropriate for our learners, and lecturers find the marking manageable. As an organisation, Ascentis is a pleasure to work with. Our queries are always dealt with quickly and we are extremely well supported by our verifier.”

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“We have been delighted with the impact Ascentis Extended Awards in Mathematical Skills (Stepping Stones) have had on our student’s progression towards their functional skills mathematics as well as preparing them for the completion of their GCSE. It has taught them the essential skills in mathematics which enabled them to deal with the practical problems and challenges of life – at home, in education and at work. These skills are valued by employers and further education, and are a platform on which to build other employability skills. We are also very impressed with the level of service and commitment shown by the staff of Ascentis, they are always available to help whenever help is needed.”

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21st Nov 2024

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