As we approach half term, we want to ensure you are prepared for a number of situations that you may encounter as we continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

My learners aren’t confident in the new digital world – for work, study or their personal life

More and more interactions are taking place online (banking, shopping, learning etc) and these exchanges have been ramped up furthermore in response to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQs) is a legal entitlement, fully funded for those who lack digital skills needed for the digital world and covers 5 skills areas that support digital skills for life, work or for use in further study.

The qualification can be delivered standalone or embedded into your existing curriculum as part of a coherent package. Ask your learners to use the diagnostic tool to identify if they are ready for Essential Digital Skills Qualifications or if they would benefit from first doing some additional preparation.

Learn more about Essential Digital Skills

My learners know how to TikTok but not online bank

Don’t overlook younger learners when performing initial diagnostics for digital skills. We’re seeing some learners who may be confident using the latest apps and communicating with friends online, but don’t have all the basic digital skills that are typically required for life and work such as backing up data or understanding the importance of digital wellbeing.

Whilst Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQ) was developed as a fully-funded legal entitlement for adults, it is also funded for 16-19-year-olds as part of a Study Programme. The qualification equips learners with the skills they will need to see them through their studies and into the working world.

The qualification can be embedded into your study programme curriculum alongside English and maths. Ask your learners to use the diagnostic tool to identify if they are ready for Essential Digital Skills Qualifications or if they would benefit from first doing some additional preparation.

Details about Essential Digital Skills

I’m looking to provide opportunities for learners who are looking to retrain due to the end of the furlough scheme

With the furlough scheme ending on 30th September, Centres are expecting to see further uptake of learners looking to retrain due to individuals being made redundant.

For learners at level 2 and below

We have an impressive vocational offer, with new and revised qualifications that reflect changes within the sector, including the impact of the pandemic.

Across all sizes and levels, there is a wide choice of units to allow Centres to develop programmes that meet the needs of learners and support progression. 21 single unit qualifications developed that support upskilling adults; some may also be used to support transition programmes at level 2.

See Vocational qualifications

Our range of SkillUP qualifications and programmes is designed to help get people back on their feet as quickly and efficiently as possible after the impact COVID-19 is having on the job market.

SkillUP programmes are suitable for those changing roles within the same sector, changing roles into a new sector, those looking for a new career because their current position or sector has been made redundant and for those not sure what to do.

Our Business Development team are versed in curriculum planning and funding. Give us a call or email for more information about National Skills Fund and we can help you get started.

See SkillUP – Back to work courses

For learners at level 3

As part of the National Skills Fund, the government is investing £2.5 billion to help adults retrain and gain the valuable skills they need to improve their job prospects.

Any adult aged 19+, who does not already have a level 3 qualification (equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or A levels) or higher, can access hundreds of fully funded level 3 courses.

More information about this update and a list of our qualifications eligible for this scheme can be found here.

My ICT and Digital qualifications are no longer funded

From 1st August, the Education and Skills Funding Agency removed funding for digital and ICT qualifications at Entry Level and Level 1.

A list of the affected qualifications can be found on the ESFA website.

The only qualification still fully funded for all adults and 16-19 learners is Essential Digital Skills qualifications.

We are aware that many Centres use some of the qualifications on the list in situations where EDSQ may not be appropriate, and we have developed new digital skills units nested in a number of our existing qualifications, to ensure that Centres are able to meet learners needs whatever their starting point.

Job vacancies are at a record high since the pandemic, how do I prepare learners for work?

The job market has opened up with employers crying out for suitable candidates. There are a number of programmes your learners can take to ensure they have the right skills for the right job.

Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs)

SWAPs are designed to help improve the job prospects of unemployed learners and help employers fill vacancies where there is local demand. We have developed off the shelf packages in a range of sectors, and each package is accompanied by a free set of resources to support your teaching and delivery.

More information about SWAPs packages, including free sample resource


Our SkillUP back to work package is designed to support people with their job search, impress potential employers and get back into work within a new career or upskilling their current knowledge. SkillUP focuses on areas that will have the greatest opportunities for employment following the COVID-19 pandemic and sectors will be added to meet the needs as the situation continues to develop.

Full details about SkillUP 

I’m looking for free support as I get back into the swing of things

We have an array of free supportive assets available in the form of learner and teacher packs, ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations for teaching, diagnostic tools, unit resources and more.

While more resources are available to approved Gateway Qualifications Centres, there are samples and tools available to all on our Support Materials page.

Support continues through dedicated staff at Gateway Qualifications. The Business Development team are on hand to help you through your journey with us, the Customer Excellence Team are happy to answer any questions you may have related to registering learners, claiming certificates and general administration. The Quality team are available to assist with all enquires relating to Quality Assurance processes and procedures