Functional Skills

 Functional skills enable apprentices to confidently navigate challenges, from interpreting technical manuals and calculating measurements to communicating effectively, ensuring accurate task management.

Why they are important

One of six ‘gold-standard’ green apprenticeships

Functional Skills maths and English are an essential part of every apprenticeship course. As part of the apprenticeship standard, apprentices are unable to sit their End Point Assessment without prior achievement of maths and English qualifications.



Course overview

If you have not already achieved your GCSE Grade 4/C (or other equivalent maths/English qualification) you will need to achieve your Functional Skills Level 2 Maths and Functional Skills English qualification.

You will work through an individual maths and English learning plan automatically created following the completion of your diagnostic assessment at the start of your course. You will complete your learning remotely and develop your skills through a combination of working on bksb as well as being supported by a specialist Functional Skills Tutor. You will undertake group learning via a virtual classroom and once you are ready to take your assessment, you will complete the tests remotely or by attending a venue within your region. You will be informed at the start of your apprenticeship the month you will be completing your Functional Skills test.

You will also be given the opportunity to practise and develop your maths and English skills within your vocational sessions and through the completion of your apprenticeship portfolio such as transposition of mathematic formulae, risk assessment planning and writing, completing written reports following electrical, and gas pressure testing, calculation of cable conductors and copper piping, utilising Pythagoras theorem and Trigonometry to determine cable phases, and softer skills, such as effective communication and customer service skills.

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Many people from all walks of life are held back because of a lack of the fundamental English and maths skills needed to function in the modern world. JTL is working with bksb to support learners to improve their skills, increase their confidence and fulfil their potential.

For Employers

Your apprentice will not be able to achieve their full apprenticeship without the required maths and English qualification. Should they not already have these qualifications, they will be fully supported to complete these. We need your support in allowing them time to attend these sessions delivered by our specialist team of Functional Skills Trainers.

Functional Skills Maths

This includes sections on:

  • Using numbers and the number system
  • Understanding measures, shape and space
  • Handling information and data

For further details please see pages 16-18 in Department for Education publication – Subject content Functional Skills: Mathematics (Feb 2018).

This is assessed by an externally set exam broken down into two sections: calculator and non-calculator.

View sample assessments


This includes three separate components:

  • Speaking, Listening and Communicating – you will complete an assessment with your Functional Skills Tutor by completing a presentation and group discussion. This will be internally assessed.
  • Reading – you will complete an externally set, one hour test.
  • Writing – you will complete an externally set, 1 hour and 20 minutes test.

For further details please see pages 16-18 in Department for Education publication – Subject content Functional Skills: English (Feb 2018).

View sample assessments

This will depend upon how soon you are ready to complete your tests. You need to aim to achieve your Functional Skills qualification in the first year of your apprenticeship, so attending your learning sessions is mandatory.

There are no additional costs for you to achieve your Functional Skills.

You just need to make sure you attend your learning sessions with your Functional Skills Tutor.

Case studies

Leanne Simpson,

Functional Skills Tutor at JTL

“My JTL Functional Skills Tutor Patrycja Zawadzka is a great teacher, I am really pleased with her teaching.  It’s helping me so much.”

Troy Starkey, JTL Property Maintenance Operative Learner