Functional Skills Facts
Functional Skills are the essential skills needed for English, maths and ICT, and are vital for young people and adults to participate in life, learning and work. They were introduced in September 2010 and officially replaced Key Skills in England in October 2012.
Problem solving is at the heart of Functional Skills; they require the learner to apply their knowledge and understanding in a range of familiar and unfamiliar situations. Functional Skills are a mandatory element in apprenticeships as well as being stand-alone qualifications in their own right at Entry Level 1-3, Level 1 and Level 2.
An intermediate apprenticeship requires the achievement of Functional Skills at Level 1 in English and maths and, depending on the vocational programme, ICT. An advanced apprenticeship requires a Level 2 achievement in Functional Skills in both English and maths, and ICT depending on the course.
Level 1 Functional Skills are equivalent to a GCSE Grade E-D, and Level 2 Functional Skills are equivalent to GCSE Grade C-A*. This includes GCSEs obtained from summer 2012 onwards with an Enhanced Functional Content (EFC). Equivalencies for the new 1-9 GCSE have not yet been published.
Functional Skills are currently under review to ensure their continued rigour and academic currency alongside the new GCSE. However, results from the reform programme have been put back until 2019.
ForSkills provide the vital baseline assessments and learning resources to prepare learners for Functional Skills in English, maths and ICT at all five levels. Our materials are compatible with the qualification requirements of all the main awarding organisations such as Pearson, City and Guilds, and NCFE.