Functional Skills

What are Functional Skills?

Functional Skills are the essential skills needed to assist people in the development of their professional and life skills. English, Maths and ICT qualifications assess an individual’s ability in real life situations. If you do not have a C(/4) at GCSE or want to develop your own English, Maths or ICT skills, these qualifications will help you with your employability, confidence, and understanding of certain topics.
Functional Skills are available to all learners from KS3 upwards. The skills learned will assist young people to progress in education, training, and employment. Working on Functional Skills helps to grow and secure the broader range of aptitudes, attitudes and behaviours that will enable students to make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live and work. Over 1 million learners all over the country have taken a Functional Skills qualification!


Functional Skills are an alternative to GCSEs
There have been reports and stories about employers who are concerned about their workers’ lack of Functional Skills particularly in language, communication, and numeracy. It appears that GCSEs are frequently not providing many students with the skills needed to communicate well or carry out their jobs because they lack the ability to perform functional calculations or write accurately. However, Functional Skills give individuals an insight into real-world problems and how to solve them.

Who are Functional Skills aimed at?

Functional Skills can be taken by anybody wanting to develop their skills in English, Maths or ICT. However, specific segments could include:

  • Those who want to generally develop their Functional Skills knowledge
  • People in jobs that require a standard of English, Maths or ICT, in which the learner needs improvement
  • Those who did not attain a grade C(/4) at GCSE (or equivalent) – boosting employability

Our Expertise

We are Functional Skills experts! Maureen led the Functional Skills development for QCDA and Helen led the development of Functional Skills and ESOL with Pearson. We have a team of more than 70 highly experienced specialist training and consultancy associates to call upon, which means that we can deliver quality training, consultancy and assessment design tailored to the needs of individuals and companies.

Using a blended learning approach, we pride ourselves in being responsive to provider needs and recognising their time and budget constraints. We use classroom-based, one to one and online (with tutor) support. We can also deliver an intervention programme for those learners that may need a boost before their assessment.

We are successful!
EM Skills have recently worked with partners in the East of England (HRC), the Midlands and the South East, to support the development of the Functional Skills English and Maths with over 500 employed adult learners, as part of the English and Maths (ESF) funded project. Our achievement rate was 98% and we exceeded all contract numbers.

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