Functional Skills Funding Announcement

Additional funding for Functional Skills reflects the importance of maths and English skills for individuals and for our economy.

07 November 2023

Last week it was announced that the increase to funding rates for Functional Skills English and maths undertaken as part of an apprenticeship will be introduced in January 2024.

Originally, the plan had been for the 54% rise in funding to be introduced at the start of the 2024/25 academic year.

This increase means that all apprentices who do not already possess a level 2 English and maths qualification will attract funding that matches the adult education budget, equating to a rise from £471 to £724. It will only apply to new apprentice learners, and will not be applied retrospectively to learners already on-programme.

The fast-tracking of this funding uplift which supports greater parity in funding rates for Functional Skills across different delivery settings is welcomed by City & Guilds.

The increase in funding will give much needed additional resource to training providers and employer-providers to support numeracy and literacy skills development amongst their apprentice learners.

Maths and English is a key priority in the City & Guilds’ agenda, as part of our mission to “inspire and support people to progress into the job, on the job and onto the next job by developing their skills at every step of their career journey”.

We are therefore pleased to see this validation of the importance of maths and English skills by providing this additional funding ahead of their original schedule. Our recent research showed that providers of English and maths provision, including colleges, adult training centres and apprenticeship providers, want the government to ensure that we have a maths and English system suited to the needs of the future workforce. Recognising the value of improving numeracy and literacy skills amongst apprentice learners is a key step in that direction.

Our research also identified how continuing to improve quality and increase learner engagement are key priorities for maths and English providers. Our customers put significant effort into ensuring that they provide quality Functional Skills programmes, often with limited resources. And we are seeing evidence that this is having an impact. For example, pass rates at Level 1 and 2 Functional Skills Reading and Writing remain positive for 2023 and are steadily improving in maths.

You can find out more information about funding, apprenticeships and Functional Skills on our website. Or if you have a question, please don’t hesitate to get in touch