Final call for employers to take part in Functional Skills consultation

There is just one month left for employers to register their views on the reforming of Functional Skills qualifications. The employers’ consultation ends on 7 April and the Education and Training Foundation would like every employer that encounters Functional Skills to take part.

Maths and English Functional Skills qualifications are the second most widely used qualifications after GCSEs and employers are being asked for their views in a government-backed reform programme. The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) was commissioned by the Skills Minister Nick Boles MP to produce Functional Skills qualifications better suited to the needs of employers, practitioners and learners in post-16 education.

The ETF’s review, ‘Making maths and English work for all’, published in March 2015, found that Functional Skills were “not broken”, but that work could be done to improve their relevance and content, as well as improve their recognition and credibility in the labour market. Many employers had concerns about the standards of maths and English of prospective employees, however, of those employers that have first-hand experience of Functional Skills, 87 per cent found them to be a useful qualification.   For example, most apprenticeship standards accept Functional Skills.

Helen Pettifor, ETF Director for Professional Standards and Workforce Development, said:

“The Education and Training Foundation is delighted to be leading this important piece of work.”

“GCSE is the principal qualification in England for maths and English, and will remain so.  Many adults – young and older – who have struggled with these subjects at school can progress by being taught Functional Skills because they see clearly how they will benefit them in life and work.”

“We are keen to consult employers as widely as possible so that  we really understand the skills they need; the proposals to Ministers must be robust and based on skills needed in employment and life.  Our aim is that learners achieve a qualification that is both recognised and provides them with these skills.”

To take part in the survey visit the Pye Tait website.

There is a choice of two surveys. One is more detailed and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, the second option is shorter and should take around 7-10 minutes to complete.

We intend to present a report to Ministers by the end of August 2016 with a view to reformed qualifications being ready to teach by September 2018.

The Government wants to ensure everyone has an appropriate opportunity to improve their maths and English skills and achieve a credible qualification that employers recognise.

For more information, contact:

James Goode, Press & PR Officer, Education and Training Foundation
James.Goode@etfoundation.co.uk | 020 3740 8280

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