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What is Essential Skills?

Essential Skills qualifications are intended for learners needing to improve their numeracy, literacy or ICT skills.  It is mandatory for all learners who have not achieved a GCSE grade C or above, or equivalent, on entry to the programmes.   


Essential Skills have a separate curriculum that focuses on the key features of each area to support career pathways and the development of skills to help with day to day living and modern day challenges.  The Essential Skills areas are: 


Communication – Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening 

Application of Number – Number, Measure, Shape & Space and Handling Data 

ICT – Use ICT Systems, Find & Exchange Information, Develop & Present Information 


Communication and Application of Number have 5 levels going from Entry Level 1, up to Level 2 where achievement at Level 2 is deemed equivalent to a GCSE grade C.  ICT is available at Level 1 and Level 2 only. 

Passing courses with Impact Training NI


The goal of the organisation is to strive for Level 2 achievement for every learner however we recognise that each learner will have a different starting point based on the skills and experiences that they have had during their time in education.  For many these may have been negative experiences and this is a fantastic opportunity to address these issues.  It is important that we identify a level that is appropriate to your abilities and this will start your journey in Essential Skills as we progress your training across the levels towards your goal.  We will start the process with simple initial and diagnostic assessments with our team of Essential Skills staff and they will set and review targets across your time on the programme in order to maximise your achievement in each Essential Skills area. 


Class sizes are small (generally 4-8) and differentiated so that all the learners are working towards the same targets.  This allows the training to be focussed more specifically on your needs and on the gaps in your skills.  Formative assessment tasks will help to identify your readiness for assessment and only when you are ready, will you be put forward for any tests.  These will not be like your previous experiences in school and will be in small controlled classrooms at Impact Training in a relaxed atmosphere which will increase your chances of success.  When you achieve you will move on to the next level and the process will continue. 


Assessment in ICT is portfolio based rather than examination based.  As you work through different applications and skills areas, you will gather evidence of the things you can do and they knowledge that you have acquired.  These will be assessed by your tutor who will ensure that the qualification requirements are covered. 


Making improvements will open up many opportunities that may not have been unavailable to you in the past.  It will help to take away fears and anxieties and build your confidence. They can help to create career opportunities and career progression as well as making apprenticeship positions available.  They will also help you to face up to the challenges of day to day life with confidence, safe in the knowledge that you have the skills that you need to succeed. 

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Connect with Impact Training NI! Whether you're seeking innovative training solutions or looking for expert guidance to elevate your team’s skills, we're here to make a difference.


Drop us a message, give us a call, or visit our office, and let's work together to create impactful learning experiences tailored just for you.


Maximising Potential with Impact Training NI begins with a single step - and we're excited to take it with you!

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