Functional Skills – A Necessity When Embarking on an Apprenticeship

In the UK, functional skills are a requirement for many apprenticeship frameworks. But what are they, what do they involve, and why are they so important? This article will answer all of those questions and more.

What Are Functional Skills?

Functional skills are essential qualifications that provide young people with the basic skills they need to work in a range of jobs. They cover reading, writing, maths, and IT and are available at different levels depending on the apprentice’s age and ability. They can also be studied in different ways, such as attending a college/school or by studying the functional skills online.

Functional skills provide apprentices with learning tools that allow them to:

  • Demonstrate their understanding of core skills
  • Transfer their learning across different job roles and sectors
  • Develop the necessary qualifications for work and progression, including apprenticeships and other vocational training programs.

Most apprenticeship frameworks require functional skills at Level 2, which means that apprentices must have a good understanding of the basics before starting their training. This is because employers need to ensure that apprentices have the necessary skills to do the job properly.

Level 2 functional skills are available in English, maths, and IT. Apprentices will need to have achieved at least a Level 2 in all three subjects before completing their apprenticeship.

Level 2 functional skills are equivalent to GCSE grades C.

Why Are Functional Skills a Necessity to Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to gain the necessary skills and knowledge they need to start their careers.

However, simply attending an interview or completing a CV will not be enough to secure a position as an apprentice. They will also need functional skills, which show that they have the required qualifications and therefore can do the job.

It’s also the case that many apprenticeships don’t lead directly to a job in that sector. Instead, an apprentice might complete their study and then need to apply for further qualifications in order to progress in their careers. Therefore, functional skills are useful when it comes to looking for new opportunities or applying for higher-level of jobs where appropriate.

How to Improve Functional Skills

There are a number of different ways that apprentices can improve their functional skills.

The first way is through real-life practice. This can involve working with a tutor or employer who can give feedback on how well the apprentice is performing. It’s also a good idea for apprentices to practice using the skills they have learned in different contexts, such as writing essays, solving maths problems, and using computers.

The second way to improve functional skills is through intensive study. This can be done by attending classes or workshops or by using online resources. It’s important for apprentices to set aside enough time to focus on their studies and to make sure they understand what they are learning.

Final Thoughts

Functional skills are a necessity with apprenticeships because they show that an apprentice has the necessary qualifications and can do the job. Apprentices will also need functional skills if their apprenticeship doesn’t lead directly to work in that sector but instead requires higher-level jobs where appropriate. There are several ways for an apprentice to improve these skills, such as through real-life practice or intensive study by attending classes or workshops.


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