How to deliver effective functional skills

English and maths have been a mandatory part of apprenticeships for a considerable amount of time now, and for good reason. Good literacy and numeracy skills are imperative for individuals to have a long, prosperous career and for businesses to foster a thriving and successful workforce. Functional Skills offer the perfect vehicle to deliver these skills in a way that can be applied to everyday workplace situations.

So what is the best way for you, as an apprenticeship provider, to deliver functional skills? Stick to the following three principles and you shouldn’t stray too far from the right track!

Calculate Current Ability

Prior to or at the start of an apprenticeship, it is important to understand the individual’s current English and maths ability. If you do not know what an apprentice’s current capabilities are, how are you supposed to choose a suitable level of programme and support the individual going forward?

Offer Continuous Support

Offering the support that an apprentice requires for Functional Skills can be difficult, especially as they balance their professional life and education. Time constraints and staffing are often issues, but offering regular support is not impossible.

Show Relevance

Showing an apprentice how relevant the skills they’re learning are can really make a difference to both their performance and engagement. We recommend embedding maths and English into everyday tasks and linking skills learned in Functional Skills to other elements of the apprenticeship.


The bksb eLearning solution is the UK’s number one solution for Functional Skills, and allows your organisation to calculate an apprentice’s current learning level and strengths and weaknesses so that you can give them support in the areas they need most.

Available online at any time, learners can access resources specific to their individual learning requirements. Revision Scenarios highlight the relevance of good English and maths skills in working life.

For more information about bksb visit or call 01623 413333.