From January to March 2015 The Education and Training Foundation undertook a major review of employer views of qualifications in maths and English. This is the first major study of its kind; 1400 employers, learners and training organisations took part.
There are three interrelated themes that figure strongly in this review:
- Functional Skills are gaining widespread recognition across small and large employers. Employers who know about them like the approach they embody i.e. applied skills, flexible assessment and problem solving.
- Functional Skills are benefitting learners because they focus on helping people to acquire skills that are valued by employers. They are needed because otherwise those who have not achieved a good pass at GCSE have no public certification of the skills they have acquired.
- The system of Functional Skills is not broken but could be improved. If government continues with the policy of investing in the literacy and numeracy skills of young people the current arrangements for Functional Skills are a good basis on which to build. However, there are steps government and others can take to accelerate the rise in employer recognition and further improve the relevance, rigour and value of these qualifications.