Paul McGarrigle from the North West Regional College in Northern Ireland has produced a fantastic set of comprehensive resources for employability and skills. 

For the first of these two resources, Paul has created an in-depth 53 page Employability skills portfolio using the most recent City and Guilds standards and guidelines.

For the second resource, Paul has produced a companion to the Employability skills portfolio, a scheme of work that allows inspectors to track students’ progress throughout their level 2 experience, highlighting the core units they are addressing and the people involved. 

What to expect from the Employability portfolio

The Employability skills portfolio has been designed so that a teacher can create a comprehensive step-by-step skills portfolio for a student on developing employability skills. The Skills portfolio is split into three main categories. Here are the overall aims and expected outcomes:

1. Career planning and making applications

The aim of this unit is to help the learner be able to identify and apply for a suitable job, training programme or course. By the end of which the learner will:

  • be able to choose a suitable career pathway 
  • be able to identify a suitable job, training programme or course 
  • understand how to prepare a Curriculum Vitae 
  • identify his own skills, qualities, experience and qualifications and draft a Curriculum Vitae  
  • understand how candidates are selected for an interview 
  • describe how candidates are selected for an interview for a job, training programme or course
  • be able to apply for a job, training placement or course 
  • understand the interviewing process. 

2. Rights and responsibilities in the workplace

The aim of this unit is to help the learner understand that employees have rights and responsibilities and why health and safety rules are important in the workplace. 

3. Effective skills, qualities and attitudes for learning and work

The aim of this unit is for the learner to recognise positive qualities, attitudes and behaviours for learning and work and understand own development needs. By the end of which the learner will:

  • be able to recognise a range of positive qualities, attitudes and behaviours for learning and work 
  • understand personal development needs. 


All three sections are assessed using a number of specific, detailed criteria. Each question is also accompanied by criterion, helping to guide the student in making their decision along with full, useable templates for each question. The inspectors can track progress using the second resource, a Student progress file.


The progress file is a great companion to the Employability skills portfolio. It allows tutors and inspectors of vocational education to plan out the expected progress of the students, allowing them to clearly see the intended aims and to be able to reflect on the progress made.

The template provided uses an Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Domestic plumbing and Heating, but the content could easily be adapted for other vocational courses.

The Progress file is split into several distinct sections following the same template as the skills portfolio, making assessment and reflection simple and easy to follow.

Paul McGarrigle has ten years of experience as a lecturer on plumbing, renewable energy, employability and personal / social skills, and business improvement techniques. 

City and Guilds are one of the biggest internationally recognised awarding bodies. They are the leading skills development organisation, providing services to training providers, employers, and trainees across a variety of sectors to meet the needs of today’s workplace. Visit their website to find more information on what they do. 

External links