Functional Skills are practical skills in English, maths and information communication technology (ICT) that are delivered and included within all vocational and apprenticeship courses at Herefordshire College of Technology. All students will be expected to attend Functional Skills classes as part of their chosen course curriculum, although these are also qualifications in their own right. At the moment, there are no prior qualification exemptions to Functional Skills.
Why are we delivering them?
Functional Skills have been developed to strengthen and bring consistency to all learning routes for young people to ensure that they achieve a firm grounding in the basics of English, maths and ICT. The introduction and development of Functional Skills responds to concerns made by employers that young people upon leaving education must be able to operate confidently, effectively and independently within the workplace. Herefordshire College of Technology fully supports this drive to improve the skills of this country’s emerging workforce through its delivery of Functional English, maths and ICT.
What are the benefits of Functional Skills?
- For young people and adults - to participate and progress in their education, training and employment as well as developing and securing a broader range of aptitudes, attitudes and behaviours that will enable them to make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live and work
- For employers – to ensure there are more prospective employees who can practically apply these skills in work situations, helping them to improve work productivity. Employers have identified that these practical skills are vital for enabling young people to succeed in study, work and life within today’s modern society
- For Higher Education – improved skills in English, maths and ICT will help students entering further and higher education to tackle their areas of study more confidently. A number of universities now accept Level 2 Functional Skills as part of their application process
Who are Functional Skills for?
Functional Skills are important to the personal development of all learners aged 14 and above at Herefordshire College of Technology. By including Functional Skills into a variety of learning courses and qualifications, we are ensuring that all young people and adults are able to develop these vital skills in order to further develop their chosen career route, whether it is onto higher education or into employment.
For further information on Functional Skills, please check the following websites;
In the case of Functional English:
Each learner will gain knowledge and confidence when using the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing and will be able to communicate effectively, when faced with a variety of different audiences and contexts. This will include being able to explain information clearly and concisely in speech, expressing a point of view reasonably and persuasively in order to communicate effectively. They will build on their ability to write professional letters, reports and CVs.
Each learner will become skilled in understanding and following instructions, analysing how ideas and information can be presented and in solving problems. They will be able to make an oral presentation, contribute to discussions and use speech to work collaboratively in teams to agree actions and reach conclusions.
In the case of Functional Maths:
Each learner will be taught a range of mathematical concepts and will know how and when to use them. They will gain the confidence and capability to use maths to solve problems within increasingly complex settings using a range of tools, including ICT.
Each learner will develop analytical and reasoning skills to draw conclusions, justify how they are reached and identify errors or inconsistencies. They will also be able to validate and interpret results, to judge the limits of their validity and use them effectively and efficiently.
In the case of Functional ICT:
Each learner will gain knowledge and confidence when using ICT systems and tools to meet a variety of needs in a range of contexts. They will use ICT to find, select and bring together relevant information and use ICT to develop, interpret and exchange information, for a purpose. Each learner will be able to apply ICT safely to enhance their learning and the quality of their work.
Course Requirements for Functional Skills:
If you are studying a Level 1 one year course, you will be expected to achieve Functional English, Maths and ICT at a lower level.
If you are studying a Level 2 one year course, you will be expected to achieve both Functional English and Functional Maths at a lower level.
If you are studying a Level 3 two year course, you will be expected to achieve one Functional Skills subject in the first year and a second Functional Skills subject in the second year, both will be at a higher level.
All apprenticeships have Functional English and maths included in their framework requirements; in some cases this will also include Functional ICT.