Functional Skills

An essential part of your apprenticeship

Why they are important

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 an online classroom (such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom) and you will complete your test(s) 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.

Classroom Functional Skills

bksb logo

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.

Read our guide

Functional Skills Maths

Functional Skills English

Course length

How much does it cost?

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

Functional Skills English


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

Course length


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.

How much does it cost?


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

Perseverance and hard work pays off for Jorel

Jorel Walsh, JTL electrical apprentice, from Birmingham explains how he overcame several challenges on the way to passing his maths, ICT and English Functional Skills tests.

Jorel who works for Skeritt Electrical Ltd said ‘‘I really struggled with all aspects of Functional Skills. As it was scenarios instead of questions, I had a lot of doubts about whether I could pass the maths qualification at Level 2 to complete my apprenticeship and began to feel as if it was a hurdle that had got the better of me.’

“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