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14 September 2017
5546 – Employability Skills (Northern Ireland) qualifications

This is a reminder to centres that following the review of the Employability suite of qualifications in July 2016 a number of pathways were identified to be withdrawn due to little or no uptake. We originally created these pathways to provide a slightly different range of qualification content/size configurations that could be used within Training for Success (TFS) programmes, although the routes we are withdrawing have in practice had little take-up and are effectively duplicated within the range of 5546 qualifications and units that will remain open.

The following Employability Skills qualifications will therefore be closed to new learners from 31 October 2017:

5546-22 - Award in Employability Skills (Northern Ireland)

5546-25 - Extended Certificate in Employability Skills (Northern Ireland)

5546-44 - Extended Certificate in Employability Skills (Northern Ireland)

Last certification for these routes is 31 October 2018.


However we can offer the following qualifications from the same suite as alternatives:

5546-02 - Award in Employability Skills

5546-05 - Extended Certificate in Employability Skills

These use the same bank of units and are the same credit values as the original qualifications, the only difference being the naming convention on the certificates. If your centre is approved and has direct claims status for the routes that are being withdrawn, City & Guilds is automatically transferring this status and approval to the alternative pathways.


The qualifications below remain open to new registrations:

5546-21 - Introductory Award in Employability Skills (Northern Ireland)

5546-23 - Extended Award in Employability Skills (Northern Ireland)

5546-24 - Certificate in Employability Skills (Northern Ireland)

5546-43 - Certificate in Employability Skills (Northern Ireland)

The last date for new registrations to these qualifications is 31 December 2018.

As part of City & Guilds product life cycle, we will be carrying out a review of these products to determine their future. We welcome feedback from centres about these qualifications as part of the review process, this can be sent to the employability@cityandguilds.com inbox.


Qualifications for learners:

Essential Skills (4800)

Qualifications in literacy, communication, numeracy, Application of Number, and ICT enable learners to progress in work, life and further learning.

This suite of qualifications is based on the refreshed Essential Skills Standards and Curriculum for Literacy and Numeracy in Northern Ireland and is suitable for learners of all ages.


ESOL Skills for Life (4692)

A suite of qualifications designed to support speakers of other languages to develop their English language skills for work, further learning or everyday life. These qualifications are intended for those needing to improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills to help them get on at work. This might be to help get on at work, prepare for further study, access public services, or just to function more effectively in an English-speaking environment.