A reform process for Functional Skills will begin this year, with a view to the updated qualifications being available in 2018, it has been announced. Skills Minister Nick Boles confirmed on Thursday (15 October) that the overhaul will be led by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), who have been involved extensively in reviewing the English, maths and ICT qualifications in recent times.
Mr Boles, who was appointed as Skills Minister in July 2014, explained that despite Functional Skills qualifications delivering English and maths skills that employers recognise “… learners and employers must have faith in them, which is why the ETF will be delivering a reform programme to provide more rigorous and respected qualifications.”
Functional Skills qualifications have, in the eyes of many, successfully provided flexible English and maths learning that is applicable to the workplace. As a mandatory component of all apprenticeships and traineeships, as well as a standalone qualification in its own right, Functional Skills courses were completed by more than one million people in 2013-14.
On hearing that the ETF had been selected to lead the reform programme, ETF Chief Executive David Russell expressed that he was “delighted”, citing that his organisation is uniquely well-placed to deliver the work. The ETF will consult with Ofqual, as well as education providers, employers and awarding bodies throughout the development process.