What is a functional skills course?

What is a Functional Skills Course?

If you don't have the right basic qualifications, life can be more of a challenge than it needs to be. Luckily you can take a Functional Skills Course and catch up. A functional skills qualification is a GCSE equivalent, designed to give you the Maths, English and Information and Communications Technology knowledge you need to make a success of your job and reach your full potential in every aspect of your life, a valuable second chance.

People who don't have a Grade 4+ GCSE in English and Maths can't do an apprenticeship, for example, but one or more functional skills qualifications can fill the gap very effectively, sending you on your way to a better career.

What are functional skills?
Functional skills replace previous qualifications called Key Skills. The three core functional skills are English, Maths Functional Skills and Information and Communication technology (ICT). The qualifications teach the knowledge, understanding and skill you need and teach you how to apply what you've learned to your job, your education, and even your personal life. Because functional skills focus on the practicalities, they're easy to apply to daily life, and the results can be amazing.

Different levels of functional skills qualifications
In many cases, as an apprentice, you can study for your functional skills qualifications on the job. Entry levels 1, 2 and 3 are mostly for people re-entering education after a break Level 1 is the same as a GCSE grade D-G Level 2 is the same as getting a GCSE grade A*-C

If you get a C or above (4+ before 2017) in your English, maths and ICT GCSEs, it's the same as a level 2 functional skills qualification in the subject. This qualifies you for an intermediate apprenticeship. If you don’t get C+/4+ you can take a functional skills qualification instead of re-sitting your GCSEs.

The testing process
The level 2 test is very like sitting an exam at school or college. It's set and marked by one of a number of UK exam bodies, and most tests take about 1.5 to 2 hours per exam. The good news is that every question you're asked concerns a real-life situation. They often provide background information to help you as well, since that's also something you almost always get in real life, both realistic and logical.

Functional Skills Test Online
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted us all in different ways. When it comes to learning, technology has enabled us to continue operating as before. In this case, you can now take an online functional skills course via our virtual classrooms, once complete you can take the official functional skills test online, from the comfort of your own home.

What kind of things will you learn?
Functional skills courses are designed to apply back to real life. In maths you'll learn useful things like solving simple problems, interpreting numbers in real life situations, pattern-spotting, working with fractions and percentages and more, all with a strong focus on using the knowledge in actual life. Level 2 functional skills in English involves learning how to contribute to discussions and present information clearly. You'll know how to compare information, using it to form reliable opinions and make sensible arguments. And you will find out how to write in a way that gets your ideas across simply, clearly and persuasively. The ICT functional skills course teaches you how to use computer programmes to their best advantage, how to administrate electronic files, folders and media, and how to search for information successfully.

Can we help you achieve more?
If you'd like to boost your employer appeal, get to grips with aspects of life you've missed so far or simply enhance your future potential, a Functional Skills Qualification could be the perfect stepping stone to a better life. Contact our further education college in London for details or to make a booking.