Skills Support for the Workforce

How gaining functional skills can act as a stepping stone to further education

Having undertaken her functional Maths and English qualifications through the Skills Support for the Workforce programme, Lucy is in a position to fulfill her ambition to undertake an Early Years Educator Diploma, Level 3 qualification - pushing her childminding business to new heights. 

Aspire Training, is part of Serco's expert network of training organisations chosen to deliver the SSW programme in the Heart of the South West (Somerset). The Aspire Training team have worked with business owner, Lucy Sloper, as she undertook her functional skills qualifications in Maths and English to enable her individual progression into further education.

Lucy runs a childminding business and wanted to progress her knowledge and career within the sector. Her ambition is to become qualified as a Level 3 Early Years Educator, but without past certificates to evidence her education level, Lucy needed to retake her Maths and English (Level 2) functional skills qualifications. Without these, Lucy would be unable to gain her licence to practice on completion of her NVQ.

Aspire Training made Lucy aware of the ESF funding available to undertake skills training and the team talked Lucy through the options and routes available to her.

“My main goal is to use my Maths and English qualifications so I can progress onto my Level 3 EYE course,” said Lucy. “I have been working towards my maths and English with the support of my assessor, Sally Milton, who has provided 1:1 support at my place of work and she was readily available via email and phone.  

The support I have received, and my achievements so far, have helped to re-build my confidence with regards to Maths and English, helping me to feel more confident about embarking on my Level 3 EYE.”

During training, Assessor, Sally Milton added:

“Lucy is a mature student who shows great commitment, as well as the willingness to want to learn. Lucy is progressing really well and has already passed her English Reading and English Writing exams as part of the functional skills that she is undertaking.

During our 1:1 sessions, Lucy has been using the online City & Guilds sample tests to support and strengthen her skills, knowledge and confidence within the topics. Lucy shows great flexibility and welcomed me into her Childminding setting.”

Lucy concluded:

“I run a childminding business and am able to use the skills that I am learning/re-learning to better my business, both from an administration point of view and also a practical/’on-the-floor’ point of view. My target end date to complete both of my functional skills is the end of April 2020 and I am confident that I will meet this target.

"I look forward to starting my Level 3 in Early Years Education soon."