Flexible learning delivers for learners and employers

6 February 2015

Learning providers should be given the flexibility to offer a combination of units and qualifications to suit their learners. This is the headline finding of NIACE’s Unit Delivery Report Programme 2013/14 for the Skills Funding Agency which is published today.

As with previous research, this report details the range of benefits of unit delivery, including how it:

  • provides stepping stones for learners to achieve full Level 2 and 3 qualifications;
  • increases engagement of self-employed people in learning that helps grow their business; and
  • ensures greater involvement of employers in training, in particular micro-businesses that struggle to afford the costs of whole qualifications.

Rob Gray, Head of Pre-Employment Skills at NIACE, said,

“The choice between a full qualification course or unit delivery should be based on what works best for individual learners.  From our pilot work on the Citizens’ Curriculum in particular, we know how important flexibility in learning is in increasing motivation and building confidence. Especially for those whose initial experiences of learning were not good.

“Our research shows employers often want to invest in training for a specific need. Unit delivery is the ideal vehicle for focused training. And if they are considering investing in a qualification, they like to see the impact of a unit first before making a commitment.

“We hope this report will encourage awarding organisations to continue to develop vocational qualifications in a unit-based, credit-bearing format so that the benefits of unit delivery continue to be available to employers and learners.”