Sharon Wright


Functional Skills

Functional skills are the minimum standard of English, Mathematics and ICT that learners must possess in order to operate confidently and independently in a social capacity, in a work environment or in a learning environment. This is the latest incarnation of a constantly evolving initiative designed to address a number of social and employment issues within the UK where individuals fail to possess a certain recognised level in each of the skills involved. The initiative has been in existence for some time, and has previously been referred to by a number of different names such as Core Skills, Common Skills, Key Skills and Minimum Core.

The drive to reduce the skills gap in the functional skills area for every citizen has been recognised by the Government and employers as a major factor that can be used in the drive to eliminate poverty and unemployment in the UK, and is also a recognised obligation placed on all teachers by the Government that the teachers themselves should be competent in each of the functional skills areas, and to develop the skills of their learners whenever possible. As a result, the teacher must also be competent in each of the functional skills to be capable of successfully delivering the functional skill elements of the course.

These skills can be integrated into any subject area through careful consideration of the course materials and topics and how each of the skills can be applied in ways that would be beneficial to the learner and subject delivery. This can be achieved a variety of different techniques such as using class activities, tasks set by myself and published course materials to encourage the learner to improve their ability in each of the skill areas. Tutors can also refer learners to sources of training for these skill areas if they deem it beneficial to the learner, or necessary for their successful participation in the course.

While I am completing functional...