Helping to Imagine the Future

SFEDI Awards have kick-started the year by expanding their suite of Passport to Enterprise and Employment qualifications with brand new opportunities to develop enterprising abilities, behaviours and skills at Levels 1 and 2.

These qualifications continue to put the emphasis on personal and social development, by focusing on how developing these skills are equally as valuable as traditional business skills when successfully securing employment or setting up your own company. We spoke to SFEDI’s Director of Quality, Nic Preston, to find out more.

Q. The Passport to Enterprise and Employment sounds like a qualification with a difference – what exactly sets it apart from other SFEDI Awards qualifications?

A. This qualification is different to our other offerings, and it’s quite ‘in your face’. It’s a new, innovative and exciting approach to preparing people for the future, by focusing on developing the individual’s personal and social skills, as opposed to only concentrating on their practical ‘work’ skills. Essentially, the idea is that if you don’t build yourself as an individual, how are you then going to progress?

Q. What sort of personal and social skills will learners develop through this qualification?

A. Learners will look at such things as self-reflection, confidence-building, and reviewing their own enterprising abilities, skills and behaviours. Everything in the Passport is underpinned by building yourself as a person, so that you’re then equipped to be able to go out and play your part in society and your community, by either being employable and securing work, or becoming self-employed and giving others the chance of employment.

Q. How do learners with little or no work experience decide which employment route is right for them?

A. It depends on the individual, but all learners will be guided and supported in making this decision, by exploring either, a) how to search for sustainable employment through the development of the knowledge and skills to be a productive member of staff, or b) whether self-employment is a valid option as a career pathway and what would be involved in taking this forward.

Q. Where has the Passport been rolled out so far?

A. Our main target for the Passport so far has been in prisons. Of course, there are often a lot of personal barriers that prisoners need to overcome before entering the world of work, but this qualification supports them to be a productive member of society and job or self-employment ready upon release. This is one qualification that really does it all, rather than having to use lots of little different ones to get a balanced experience.  

Q. What are the core objectives of the qualification within prisons?

A. There are three core objectives in prisons: to build a feeling of self-awareness and self-belief, to build a sense of ethical thinking and community spirit, and to help to reduce re-offending rates on release from prison. The Passport to Enterprise and Employment qualifications support individuals through the development of the abilities, behaviours and skills relating to their own enterprise development – and it can ultimately play a part in benefiting our communities and wider society.

Q. Who else can undertake the Passport to Enterprise and Employment qualifications?

A. These qualifications aren’t exclusive to prisons, it has been created to support people from all sorts of backgrounds through the embedding of wider enterprise and entrepreneurial abilities, behaviours and skills. This is a flexible learning programme that has been designed to meet the needs of diverse learners, by teaching personal development as well as encouraging the development of a community and socially conscious mindset. These are qualifications that truly transcend age, background, personal circumstances, location and aspirations.

Q. The qualifications have been featured internationally, where can people read more about this?

A. Following our invite to speak at last year’s EU Commission Entrecomp conference, the Commission is producing a Best Practice Guide for the embedding of enterprise skills in education, and the Passport to Enterprise and Employment is being featured – it’s a new qualification and it’s already being recognised across Europe for its innovative work in prisons, so this is an incredibly exciting start to our journey.

To find out more about the qualifications, please visit contact the SFEDI Awards team on 0845 224 5928.