How does LifeSkills support careers education in Wales?
Help your students get ready for the world of work by discovering how LifeSkills aligns with both the current curriculum and the Careers and the World of Work Framework. It is also being mapped to the new Curriculum for Wales and supports the aim to ensure that all children and young people are ready to play a full part in life and work.
LifeSkills can support your careers provision, your work with ALN learners and your development of a whole school/college approach to building skills.
Explore the tabs below to see how our resources can be embedded into your employability work, supporting you to help young people develop the right skills and knowledge for the workplace.
What’s the national approach to careers education and skills development in Wales?
The Welsh Government’s Employability Plan sets out ambitions to support people across Wales into high quality, sustainable employment. The plan outlines a strategy for preparing the workforce for the immediate and long-term challenges of the future, and aims to ensure:
- Everyone benefits from an individualised approach to employability support that focuses on providing bespoke solutions for those in greatest need
- Employers understand their responsibility to up-skill their workers, support their staff and provide fair work so that those in employment can thrive
- All young people have the opportunity to gain skills that are needed today and those that are projected for the future
- The education and training system prepares young people for a radical shift in the world of work – including rapid developments in automation, artificial intelligence and digitalisation – so that future generations are ready for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.
To support these aims, the Welsh Government issued the Careers and the World of Work Framework for 11-19 year-olds. The framework aims to help young learners to:
- Explore the attitudes and values required for employability and lifelong learning
- Plan and manage their pathway through the range of opportunities in learning and work
- Make effective career choices
- Become entrepreneurial
- Flourish in a variety of work settings
- Become motivated, set long-term goals and overcome barriers
- See the relevance of their studies to their life and work
- Develop key skills and other skills required by employers
- Prepare for the challenges, choices and responsibilities of work and adult life.
People working in the education sector can find guidance on developing careers and world of work programmes on the Careers Wales website.
How does LifeSkills align with recent developments in education?
We recognise that education in Wales is undergoing fundamental changes over the next few years, as a new and exciting curriculum is introduced. LifeSkills is here to support young people across Wales, to embed the skills needed for lifelong learning and progress into and through the world of work.
LifeSkills’ focus on developing core transferable skills alongside building knowledge and confidence is broadly aligned with the ‘Four Purposes’ of the new Curriculum for Wales:
- Ambitious, capable learners
- Enterprising, creative contributors
- Ethical, informed citizens
- Healthy, confident individuals
In particular, LifeSkills support the wider aims of the curriculum’s second purpose; ‘to ensure that all of our children and young people are ready to play a full part in life and work’.
To align with the new curriculum consultation is in progress to determine how Careers and Work-Related Experiences (CWRE) can be embedded across the new curriculum in a whole school approach.
How does LifeSkills help students develop core transferable skills?
LifeSkills provides a wide range of lessons, tools, content and resources that help students build the core transferrable skills they need to succeed in the world of work:
These skills align with the skill areas identified as being integral to the Four Purposes of the new curriculum:
- Creativity and innovation
- Critical thinking and problem-solving
- Personal Effectiveness
- Planning and Organising
LifeSkills also supports young people prepare for work by raising their awareness of the skills they are learning in education and how they can be useful in a work context. This in turn helps them to articulate and promote their skills when applying for jobs across different sectors.
With the changing world of work and the impact of recent events on the labour market, it’s important for students to understand the skills employers are now looking for and how these have changed – to find out more take a look at our Jobs of the future guide. You can also learn more about employment trends from the bank of research we have collated from organisations across the sector here.
What key education frameworks and qualifications can LifeSkills support?
We have mapped LifeSkills content to the current national curriculum in Wales to enable educators to use the resources in different subject areas. Look at our Content curriculum guide to find lesson materials and independent learning resources for students that support your curriculum delivery. As the new curriculum comes online, we will be updating these resources to reflect the six Areas of Learning and other educational statutory guidance.
At Key Stage 4 and post 16 education, LifeSkills is ideally suited to help support the Skills Challenge Certificate (SCC), often studied as part the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualifications. The SCC comprises of four components:
- Individual project (50%)
- Enterprise and employability challenge (20%)
- Global citizenship challenge (15%)
- Community challenge (15%)
LifeSkills is particularly useful in supporting the SCC with its emphasis on employability skills including resources that help students make the link between their strengths and future career choices.
As well as curriculum subjects and careers, LifeSkills content can support delivery across upper primary and all of secondary in specific areas of the National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF), especially around financial education and listening skills. It also supports PSE, with regards to wellbeing and safe use of social media and can support schools in achieving their whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing.
How can LifeSkills support my school/college’s careers provision?
LifeSkills can help your school/college support the Welsh Government’s Employability Plan and deliver an effective Careers and World of Work programme to help increase the number of leavers who successfully go on to education, employment or training. A key principle of the Careers and the World of Work Framework is that aspirations should not be limited to paid employment: the ways in which young people will add to the wealth of Wales will be many and varied. LifeSkills offers content that support the range of paths young people might take:
- Bringing entrepreneurial skills to an existing company (try the Putting enterprise skills into action lesson to help students develop an enterprising mindset)
- Starting businesses of their own (try the Steps to starting a business lesson and student handbook)
- Volunteering their skills for the betterment of their community (try the Social action toolkit for inspiration and activities)
If you are working towards the Careers Wales Mark (designed by Careers Wales to recognise an educational establishment’s commitment to continuous quality improvement) you may find LifeSkills content can support you to fill gaps identified at your audit stage, helping you to achieve your accreditation.
How does LifeSkills support students with diverse needs?
The Careers and the World of Work Framework states that ‘learning providers must work to reduce environmental and social barriers to inclusion and offer opportunities for all learners to achieve their full potential in preparation for further learning and life’.
LifeSkills offers specific resources for students with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) and those in care who are preparing for their post-school transition. These can help support students to set goals and prepare for the workplace. LifeSkills includes a core set of lessons adapted for young people aged 14+ with ALN, and a navigation guide to explain how the content has been adapted.
We’ve also created a suite of financial education resources for young people leaving care to help them prepare for independent living. You can find these by selecting the ‘care leavers’ filter options on the LifeSkills Lesson plans page.
LifeSkills offers content specially designed for supporting adult learners, including those at risk of becoming unemployed. You may also find some of the resources for young people are useful in working with adults – check out this guide to supporting adult learners.
How can I use LifeSkills to build inclusivity in the classroom?
Teaching diversity and inclusion is important as it helps students recognise and celebrate what makes us different to benefit themselves and their future workplaces. This broadly aligns with the third of the four purposes of the new curriculum which aims for children and young people to become ‘ethical, informed citizens’ who, among other things:
- Are knowledgeable about their culture, community, society and the world
- Engage with contemporary issues
- Respect the needs and rights of other, as member of a diverse society
LifeSkills has developed a suite of diversity resources to support students to develop their understanding of diversity and inclusion, including how this will help them succeed in the world of work.
Watch our online lesson film around racial equality in the workplace or listen to five short audio case studies exploring different topics around gender, LGBTQ+, culture, age and disability.
What do educators in Wales say they value about LifeSkills?
“Key Stage 4 students follow the Welsh Baccalaureate and as part of this we have been using LifeSkills to enhance the teaching and learning of these essential skills…The ability to mix and match the LifeSkills resources, providing targeted and effective intervention, is exactly what’s needed.”
Welsh Baccalaureate Coordinator, Wales
“Life Skills is a fantastic tool to help educate young people formally and informally. I have implemented it in classroom settings as well as in youth work environments. The resources available are in depth, and very useful in helping to develop knowledge and understanding on a huge array of topics that cover every aspect of a person's life: improving their employability skills, online safety, virtual work experience and interviews, a person's soft skills such as confidence and becoming more assertive, communication…the list is endless!”
Youth Economic Inactivity worker, Wales
How can LifeSkills be delivered and used alongside other careers resources?
LifeSkills content can be used alongside materials provided by Careers Wales and those found on Hwb, the Welsh Government’s online platform for schools, learners and parents/carers, to build a stable careers programme. LifeSkills focuses on helping students develop their confidence, knowledge and employability skills, which in turn helps them make informed careers decisions and engage with other careers support on offer. Themes such as building a growth mindset and wellbeing complement the skills-based content, to ensure young people are mentally prepared for their next step.
Educators can use the content in lessons, form periods, assemblies and careers days. You can also direct young people to use LifeSkills independently for homework tasks, holiday projects or as part of transition preparation.
Parents/carers are also able to access, adapt and use LifeSkills’ content to prepare their children for the world of work when teaching them at home whether that be to support homework, for brief periods of home learning or for full time home education.
Careers Advisers can use the resources in independent guidance sessions, with tools such as the Wheel of Strengths acting as effective conversation starters.
LifeSkills also has materials to support parents and carers to help their children develop employability skills, knowledge and aspirations, via the Families hub.
Where can I find out more?
- Go to the Explore more section on our website to discover how to start building LifeSkills content into your careers programme
- Use our Content curriculum guide to see how you can use LifeSkills resources as part of your lessons across the curriculum
- Start building your students core transferable skills with our seven core skills lessons
- Learn how to get recognition for your school or college’s skills programme with the LifeSkills Award
To find out more about how LifeSkills supports the curriculum across other parts of the UK select another nation: