People 1st have been appointed by Belfast City Council to facilitate a Playwork Upskilling Academy.

The aim of the academy is to support 15 Belfast residents working in the playwork industry, to develop skills and achieve a Level 5 Playwork Diploma that will enable them to access management roles.

Participants will work towards the Level 5 Diploma in Playwork which will enable them to access an identified management role within the sector. This will then create an escalator with back-fill Playwork job opportunities for those wishing to enter the labour market. It is intended that this skills escalator will enable employers to have access to the higher-level skills and succession planning to sustain and grow their business.


  • Participants must be a resident in the Belfast City Council area.

  • Participants must be working in a Deputy Manager or Manager role, or be supported by their employer to undertake activities which meet the requirements of the Level 5 standards of Playwork Diploma.

  • There must be evidence that employer commitment has been secured and that progression opportunities are available.

  • Participants will be screened prior to acceptance to determine their eligibility, suitability and willingness/ability to work in the positions available.

  • Academy places will be offered to those who successfully complete the selection process, which includes having access to enhanced employment opportunities on the basis that they complete the Playwork Upskilling Academy.

  • Participants must be available to commence the programme on 11 September and complete their qualification prior to September 2020.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 12 noon on Friday 30 August 2019.

Facilitation Model:

Participants are required to attend master classes which will focus on best practice in the sector, these will be held fortnightly at People 1st, 89 Malone Road, Belfast.

Diploma in Playwork Level 5:

For those following the Level 5 Diploma in Playwork, participants will be allocated an assessor who supports them on a one to one basis to focus on areas of development and to achieve the award.  The assessors use digital assessment methods and an e-portfolio system which will reduce the volume of written work and ensure confidentiality throughout the process as no paperwork is required to leave the workplace. Expected duration is one year.

For further information, or if you have any queries, email or phone 028 9066 9669.

This initiative is funded by Belfast City Council and, if the application is accepted, there is no cost to the participant/employer.