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What are functional skills?

As defined by the UK's Department for Education (DfES), this term can be defined as “the core elements of English, mathematics, and information communication technology (ICT) that provide an individual with the essential knowledge, skills, and understanding.”

Why do you need functional skills? 

One of the main aspects of functional skills is that they are solely based on a problem-solving approach, meaning that they can help people to tackle problems through the use and application of English, Maths, and ICT.

Similarly, functional skills also enhance the lives of individuals, improve employability in a changing labour market and develop the skills that the economy and employers need. 

What are functional skills courses? 

Functional skills courses offered through our website provide a comprehensive overview of the aforementioned key areas which will enhance your skills and prepare you for the world of work. 

English: ideal for those who want to brush up on their reading and writing skills at all levels. 

Maths: ideal for those who want to brush up on their numeracy and mathematical skills at all levels. 

ICT: ideal for those who want to brush up on their computing skills at all levels.

Throughout, you will get the opportunity to work on individual assignments, as well as take part in group work and discussions, during which key aspects of all three areas will be covered. The ultimate aim of this approach is to provide you with a more shared idea on the subject, whilst at the same time having the opportunity to give and receive valuable feedback. 

When it comes to the final grades, formal assessments will be carried out on both the practical work as well as theory, which customarily takes the form of both an essay-based as well as a computer-based examination.

Why should you take up a functional skills course?

If you’ve ever thought of improving your overall fundamental skills, then this is the right time to do so! Signing up to one of these courses will not simply help you improve these said skills, but will also provide you with an internationally recognised Functional Skills certificate along the way.

You should most definitely consider taking up one of these courses if you:

  • Want to work in areas where knowledge in English, Maths, and ICT is necessary
  • Need help to tackle certain work assignments that involve these skills
  • Want to refresh and enhance your skills
  • Are aiming to change jobs
  • Preparing for a University degree or higher certification
  • Want to have a better grasp on ordinary activities such as reading and writing emails, carrying out simple calculations, as well as having a basic understanding of a PC.
  • Build your overall confidence when it comes to carrying out these tasks

What and how will you learn throughout these courses?

Applying to one of these fundamental skills courses comes with numerous benefits that will undoubtedly enhance your literacy, mathematical, and computing skills, together with your overall confidence. Through meticulous individual attention and guidance as well as plenty of practical experience, tutors will help you to familiarise yourself well with the subject, become more comfortable, and improve your work through feedback and constructive criticism, allowing your skills to prosper.

What study options are available for functional skills courses?

Functional skills courses can be found all over the UK. You can either study in a classroom at a college or university, or you can choose to study online - whichever suits you best.


A classroom course will take place at a designed time and location. This is a great option for the individual who wants to take training into their own hands or a small business who just needs to have a few employees trained.


Online training is an option for those who favor flexibility. Individuals can participate in the course at their own pace and on their own time.

From introductory courses to more advanced programmes, you will find anything you might need that ideally suits you!

How much does a functional skills course cost?

Fees for these courses differ greatly, so you shouldn't hesitate to sign up, even if you are on a limited budget − we have a course at any price point!

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