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Building a programme for your 16-19 learners

Our aim is to help you engage and land learners in full-time programmes that will excite and interest them. However, we recognise that learners are not always ready to start these or may not know which area they want to study.  This is particularly relevant this year, as employment and progression opportunities in many sectors will be significantly impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We expect to see a rise in learners turning to college in January as they explore new interests and pathways.

We can help you soften the landing for learners starting in January with a short programme which supports them to select a vocational area suited to their interests and skills. Through this short programme, you:

  • protect retention and achievement
  • give learners the best start
  • support learners to make great career decisions / progress to a full-time programme with confidence.

To help you quickly build and deliver brilliant 16-19 employability programmes, we have created a bundle of qualifications and resources.  The bundle reflects our research and insight as to what makes for an effective, outcome-focused programme which will deliver learner success. 

The bundle includes:

1. A carefully selected combination of NCFE qualifications which, taken together, provide learners with the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to succeed:

  • a programme builder  that enables you to build tailored, sector-specific employability programmes specific to the needs of your learners
  • qualifications of different sizes and levels to suit the abilities of your cohorts
  • one / any / all qualifications included in the builder can be used to create your programmes
  • support for you to embed your built programmes into your existing full-time provision
  • qualifications which will improve learners’ independent learning skills, setting them up to progress to a full-time programme
  • opportunities for learners to study more than one bundle, allowing them to experience different subject areas before choosing their long-term vocational focus.

2. A detailed scheme of work and set of session plans, showing how qualification requirements could be met in an engaging, exciting way for learners. These will:

  • provide individual programme schemes of work to run across 6 weeks of delivery
  • include both guided and independent learning to ensure all of the learning outcomes and assessment criteria are met for each component of the qualification
  • include lesson plans to accompany each component of the 12 programmes.

3. Substantial learning resources and e-learning content to support delivery of programmes using the qualifications and schemes of work we recommend. These include:

  • teaching and learning support packs and student workbooks
  • e-learning content packages produced by NCFE and our network of specialist content providers
  • Skills Forward e-learning packages for employability, digital, English and maths.

4. Access to relevant resources already within the NCFE family, including:

  • Skills Forward
    • diagnostic assessments covering English, maths, digital, and employability skills
    • online learning resources to support Functional Skills, GCSE, and employability skills,
    • individualised skills plans tailored to the needs of each learner.
    • progress monitoring reports to show distance travelled and knowledge acquisition.

Explore our programme builder to build a bespoke programme of learning for your 16-19 learners

Download our programme builder

5 tips for building your employability programme


16-19 tuition fund

£96m available for the 2020-21 academic year for schools, colleges and other 16 to 19 providers to mitigate the disruption to learning arising from Covid-19. 


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