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Functional Skills are qualifications in the fundamental skills of English, Maths and Information and Communications Technology (ICT)that are required and used in everyday life. They are relatively new qualifications, replacing the previous Key Skills and Skills for Life qualifications, but are widely recognised across the country and within many job roles.
These qualifications were designed for people of 14 years of age and above as well as for those who have left education without qualifications demonstrating a particular standard of English, Maths or ICT.
With focus on the more vocational aspects of English, Maths and ICT, Functional Skills courses teach people how and when to use the key practical skills in real-life situations.
Obtaining the qualification requires passing a series of separate tests. Functional Skills have been recently been integrated into the National Secondary Curriculum and form part of GCSEs, apprenticeships and diplomas.
People are able to take these qualifications at schools and colleges across the country, as well as with some employers.
English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses are also available under the Functional Skills awards system.
For more information about Functional Skills qualifications from the two main examination boards, please follow the below links: