Employers value Functional Skills – latest research

25 March 2015

Responding to the latest research from the Education and Training Foundation on maths and English qualifications, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“We’re really pleased with the outcome of this review, showing that Functional Skills are recognised and valued by employers. The findings are supported by our research with young people, which shows they are motivated to learn maths and English when these skills are contextualised to their work and everyday lives. We’re also pleased that the report acknowledges that Functional Skills can be more than just ‘stepping stones’ but qualifications in their own right.

“Our report, following our consultation on how the new GCSEs can be successfully implemented in the post-16 sector, emphasised the value of Functional Skills and that positioning these as stepping stones to GCSEs should not lead to their devaluation.”

Martin Rose MBE, NIACE Programme Manager for Army Development, said:

“We know from our extensive work with the Army that the introduction of Functional Skills provision and qualifications across the Service has made a huge difference. The shift in emphasis from simply learning how to do something to choosing and using skills to solve problems underpins the practical approach embodied in military training and complements the soldiers’ day-to-day work.

“The Functional Skills focus on mastery of the core, transferable literacy and numeracy skills – including English speaking and listening skills – meet the Army’s workplace requirements. At the same time, access to on-demand assessment with short registration and marking turn-round times are especially attractive to the Army, as these arrangements can be more readily accommodated into its intensive training regimes. Promoting and ensuring the marketable status of these qualifications amongst employers, the FE sector and other stakeholders is now essential.”