What are Functional Skills?


Functional Skills are the essential skills needed for ENGLISH, MATHS and ICT, vital for young people and adults to participate in life, learning and work.


The government introduced Functional Skills as part of its response to meet employers’ concerns that young people and adults were leaving secondary education without having achieved a sound understanding of the basics of these three subjects.


Apprentices from the age of 16 onwards are expected to complete Functional Skills as part of the framework of their course.  However, those who have recently achieved a GCSE grade ‘C’ or above may be exempt.


Functional Skills subjects are taught based on curriculum guidelines and assessed by examination.  The course is normally completed within a year and where possible is made relevant to the NVQ apprenticeship.  Likewise, the NVQ has elements of Functional Skills embedded.  Depending on students’ abilities and the level of the apprenticeship, Functional Skills may be studied at level 1 or level 2 as appropriate.