Functional Skills

Functional skills consist of EnglishMaths and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). They provide the essential knowledge, skills and understanding that can enable learners to function confidently, effectively and independently in life and at work.

Theory and Practice

What skills do learners need to prepare them for life, learning and work in the 21st century? Things have changed in the world in recent years and continue to change every day. As well as learning knowledge, learners need to develop skills to create new knowledge and to deal with and navigate their way through this new world.

Qualifications in functional skills can be achieved at Entry level, level 1 and level 2; which in some cases, may have already been achieved at school during any GCSE’s, Apprenticeships, Diplomas or Foundation Learning.

Embedding functional skills into everyday activity is a way in which you can enable yourself to reinforce skills in communicationproblem solving, listening and time management.

For example:

  • English – reading, writing, listening, speaking, discussions.

  • Maths – approximation, estimations, calculations, measurements.

  • ICT – e-mail, web-based research, word-processing assignments and reports, using spreadsheets, databases and presentation packages.

Employability Skills

UKCES (2009) The Employability Challenge. London: UK Commission for Employment & Skills


What is Embedded Learning?

In the context of the Skills for Life strategy:

“Embedded teaching and learning combines the development of literacy, language and numeracy with vocational and other skills. The skills acquired provide learners with the confidence, competence and motivation necessary for them to progress, gain qualifications and to succeed in life and at work”.

Also See: BBC Key Skills