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Functional Skills replace Key Skills

Posted: Thursday 13 September 2012

From 1 October 2012 Functional Skills qualifications are replacing Key Skills, as a mandatory component of all Apprenticeship frameworks. This requirement is stated in the Specification for Apprenticeship Standards in England (SASE) which sets out the minimum requirements to be included in a recognised English Apprenticeship framework.

In December 2011 the Government announced a changes to what can be included in an Apprenticeship in New Chances, New Challenges: Further Education and Skills System Reform Plan: Building a World Class Skills System. From the 2012/13 academic year, all Apprenticeship providers will be required to support Apprentices in progressing towards the achievement of Level 2 English* and Maths.

From October 2012 all Apprentices starting English and Maths courses will be taking Functional Skills or GCSE qualifications. This means that the 30 September 2012 is the last day for registering on Key Skills in Apprenticeships, this includes ICT where applicable. The final date for completion and certification of Key Skills is the 30 September 2013, however, providers must check the final date for assessments with the Awarding Organisation as this date may be earlier depending on the specific qualification.

Compliance with the SASE will be a statutory requirement of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning (ASCL) Act. The agreed minimum requirement for Functional Skills qualifications in Apprenticeship frameworks is English and Mathematics at Level 1 for Intermediate Level Apprenticeship and Level 2 for an Advanced Level Apprenticeship.

*In SASE "GCSE English" includes GCSE English Language but not GCSE English Literature and therefore it is not an acceptable alternative qualification.

** Additional Maths is acceptable for Transferable Skills.

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