Hackney Community College

Vocational Explorer

2 Full Days / BTEC EL3/L1 Workskills Certificate

Wednesday & Thursday


A course for young people who want to explore several possible job opportunities and learn the skills needed to be successful.

This is a full time, one year course, starting each September.

You will have a tutor who will oversee your progress on all parts of the course

The course has 3 parts.

Part one: learning vocational skills

You will choose three vocational options.

Each option is for one day a week and lasts for 12 weeks.

Decide on your choice for each term. (You will be asked to give a 1st and 2nd choice in each.)


Autumn term


Spring term


Summer term


Tech and creative media

Retail/customer service

 Fashion & Textiles



Hospitality and catering

Performing Arts




Part two: finding out all about the industry

You will work with the same students as your vocational skills group to investigate the industry whose skills you are learning.

You will work with employer partners for each vocational option to find out all you need to know in order to decide if it has the kind of jobs you would like and be able to do. You will be going into companies to find out lots of information about what they do, how they do it, who their customers are, how they market their goods or service, what their future plans are, and what kind of people they want to employ,

You will be developing your communication skills to gather information and ICT skills, photography and sound recording skills to record it.

Employer partners:

Here are some examples of businesses you might be working with:

  • Tech and creative media: Bootstrap. Arcola theatre
  • Performing Arts: Tech city. Hackney Empire. Get into Dance (National theatre)
  • Construction:   Building Lives. Pembury Housing.
  • Hospitality and catering: cafes, restaurants and hotels
  • Retail/customer service: Fashion Hub. Pringle.
  • Hair and beauty. All aspects of the hair and beauty industry
Part three: led by your tutor

You will be learning the skills you need to succeed in the workplace, including English, Mathematics and ICT. You will work towards a BTEC certificate in Work Skills at either Entry level 3 or at Level 1, taking the following 9 (or similar) units:

  • Conduct at work
  • Working in a team
  • Rights and responsibilities at work
  • Managing your health at work
  • Setting and meeting targets
  • Solving work-related problems
  • Speaking confidently at work
  • Planning an enterprise activity
  • Running an enterprise activity.

Q. Can I join the course at any stage?

A. You can join the course at the beginning of each vocational skills units (3 entry points per year).

Q. What qualifications will I get and what can I do next?

A. You will get a BTEC certificate in Work Skills, and a Hackney College Certificate of Achievement, detailing the skills you have practiced and mastered. If you reach the required level in all your aspects of your work you will be able to move on to a Vocational Course at Level 1 or 2. Alternatively you can join the Into Work group which helps you decide on the right direction for you, then offers you support into a job, with a job coach.


  • Higher level courses at HCC or another provider
  • A Pre Apprenticeship – Level 1 / 2
  • Supported Internship

College course contact: Barbara Hayes bhayes@hackney.ac.uk