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Functional skills

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What are Functional Skills?

Functional Skills are the basic skills that all people need to be able to operate confidently and successfully in work and life.

  • Apply their knowledge and understanding to everyday life

  • Engage competently and confidently with others

  • Solve problems in both familiar and unfamiliar problems and

  • Develop personally and professionally.


Why are Functional Skills important to Apprenticeships?

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Functional Skills are a key component in all the apprenticeship standards.

Achieving a Functional Skills qualification demonstrates that an apprentice has all the skills they need in English and Maths to be able to engage with their programme.

They help apprentices to develop and secure the broader range of aptitudes, attitudes and behaviours.

For all apprenticeships that Way2Work offers, either Level 1 or Level 2 Functional Skills qualifications are required.

In some circumstances, achieving Level 1 Functional Skills qualifications is sufficient.

All Functional Skills qualifications must be completed before the Gateway stage of the apprenticeship.



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Check your current and prior qualifications in Maths and English

The current and prior qualifications accepted as meeting the minimum English and Maths requirements for Apprenticeships are level 2 and above.

Please see GOV.UK's guidance for more information.

To meet the Gateway criteria for the End Point Assessment, a Level 2 Intermediate apprentice normally needs to hold or achieve Level 1 Functional Skills English and maths, as well as study towards and take assessments at Level 2 (they do not need to pass Level 2, unless their specific apprenticeship requires it).

Whilst every effort should be made to enable apprentices to achieve the regular minimum maths and English requirements, there is some flexibility for those who might not be able to meet those requirements.

For people with learning difficulties and disabilities who are able to meet the occupational standard of their apprenticeship, but will struggle to achieve the regular English and Maths minimum requirements, there is an option to complete Entry Level 3 Functional Skills instead.

This option can be considered on an individual, case-by case basis where all of the following conditions have been satisfied:

  • The apprentice has either an existing or previously issued Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA).
  • The provider holds or has conducted an evidenced assessment demonstrating that even with support, reasonable adjustments and stepping stone qualifications, the apprentice is not able to achieve English or Maths to the minimum level as a result of their learning difficulty or disability.
  • The employer and provider must reasonably expect that the apprentice will be able to successfully achieve all other aspects of the apprenticeship requirements, become occupationally competent and achieve Entry Level 3 in the adjusted subject(s) before the end of their apprenticeship.
  • There are no industry-specific minimum requirements.

The ESFA will fund Functional Skills English or Maths at Level 1 or below if initial assessment shows the apprentice needs to study a lower level.