Foundation Skills

What are Foundation Skills?

Foundation skills are the underpinning communication skills required for participation in the workplace, the community and in adult education and training. Language, literacy and numeracy, or LLN, is the traditional way of referring to the ability to speak, listen, read and write in English, and to use mathematical concepts.

Every learner in vocational education and training has to face LLN skills challenges that are particular to the industry they are training for. We know that without adequate skills in these areas, individuals often struggle to demonstrate their competence either during the learning program or once in employment

‘Foundation skills’ is the term that Australian Government agencies have started to use to cover the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF)’s five core skills (learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy), plus the employability skills, or the Core Skills for Work framework. However this is not a definitive definition and it’s worth noting that the Foundation Skills Training Package covers core skills plus digital literacy.

Our Model for Integrated Foundation Skill Support Training

We have built a model to help vocational trainers integrate foundation skill support into their planning and delivery. The Model for Integrated Foundation Skill Support - MIFSS - includes advice on how trainers can identify and address foundation skill support while using FSK Foundation Skills Training Package units in delivery. Built to be customised to a range of industry contexts, MIFSS has a range of advice and tools for those vocational trainers wanting to address their learners' foundation skill needs.

There are 3 resources for training:

  • Sport, fitness and recreation (community and outdoor)
  • Tourism, travel and hospitality
  • Wholesale, retail and personal services.

These resources are for vocational trainers in the service industries delivering courses in communication, customer service and work health and safety.

It provides a model for identifying the core skill demands of vocational units and how to use the Foundation Skills Training Package as a support resource to deliver the critical underpinning core skill concepts in a unit or unit cluster. The model can be adapted for a range of contexts.

Whether a learner succeeds or not in your course depends on a range of factors, including your understanding of the core skill demands of the units of competency being delivered, and the importance of building support for core skills into program planning.

Through the use of the scenarios and material, this resource will:

  • help you identify a unit’s key core skill demands and learner core skill support needs
  • provide you with a range of delivery tools and training strategies.

Supporting learners needs you to understand the vocational skills of the session you are planning. It also needs you to have factored the language, literacy and numeracy—or core skill—demands of the unit you are delivering into your planning and teaching.

Working through this resource will help you identify where the core skill demands are in the unit you are delivering. It will also show you how units from FSK Foundation Skills Training Package can be used where further support is needed.

The FSK Foundation Skills Training Package provides an opportunity for registered training organisations to choose and deliver foundation skill units, qualifications and skill sets that will enable learners to build the specific core skills needed to achieve vocational competency. Foundation skill units provide additional information about the types of language, literacy and numeracy skills that are needed to meet the requirements of the vocational units.

This resource has matched particular foundation skill units to clusters of vocational units. But you can put any combination of foundation skill and vocational units together to suit your delivery context and learner needs. The matrix showing FSK units in Appendix 9.1 can help you do this.

You can see how the FSK Foundation Skills Training Package might support your delivery and assessment by working through Section 8 of Model for Integrated Foundation Skills Support, which is available for download in our Resources List.

The development of these resources was funded by the Commonwealth through the Department of Industry as part of the Strategies to support the Foundation Skills Training Project.