Functional skills for apprentices

More information on the functional skills assessment you need to complete for your apprenticeship, or whether your previous qualifications are accepted.

Why you need to do functional skills

The Achievement of Level 2 Functional Skills is a Government requirement for anyone undertaking an apprenticeship at Level 3 or above who does not have GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) on entry to their apprenticeship programme.

See a list of accepted equivalent GCSE English and Maths qualifications.

If you have studied English and/or Maths previously in a different country – are these qualifications acceptable?

If you have English and Maths qualifications that were gained overseas which you believe are the equivalent to GCSE English and Maths at grade C/4 or above (or accepted equivalent), you should provide your certificates to our admissions department who will refer them to Ecctis in order to identify their UK equivalent.

If your overseas qualifications are not deemed to be at the required level, you will be required to complete Level 2 English and/or Maths functional skills.

For further information on Ecctis, click here.

How long you have to complete your functional skills qualifications

For the majority of apprenticeships at NTU, apprentices who do not have the required English and Maths qualifications on entry are permitted to work towards their Level 2 Functional Skills during the first year of their apprenticeship, the achievement of Level 2 Functional Skills being a condition of progression to the second year.

There are some exceptions to this, as certain apprenticeships require GCSE English and Maths qualifications at Grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) as a condition of entry on to the apprenticeship.

Who covers the cost of functional skills qualifications?

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funds the achievement of Level 2 English and Maths qualifications.

This funding is paid directly to your training provider to cover the cost of your English and Maths initial assessment and diagnostic assessment, delivery costs and examination fees.

Additional time to complete your functional skills qualifications

Time spent on achieving the required levels of English and Maths is in addition to the ESFA minimum requirement of 6 hours per week of off-the-job training.

Who provides the training and where it takes place

NTU subcontracts its functional skills delivery to Runway Training Ltd, who arrange for you to complete an English and/or Maths diagnostic used to identify the areas you need to focus on.

The results from your diagnostic form the basis of learning plan with Runway and your learning is done online.

Once you have completed your online learning plan, you sit the level 2 functional skills mock examinations in English and/or Maths before being entered for the final exam(s).

If you have additional learning needs

For apprentices with formally recognised special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities, the ESFA accepts achievement of entry level 3 functional skills in English and/or Maths in place of level 2 functional skills.

  • Last updated: 27/09/2022