FUNCTIONAL SKILLS: LITERACY, NUMERACY & ICT
Functional skills are literacy, numeracy and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). They form the basis of being able to interact with others and deal with situations in both personal and professional life. Not everyone is academic or excels in school so there may be gaps in the level of capability. As a teacher or trainer, it is important to recognise the capability of all your students. You can then build lessons that include the opportunity for students to grow their skills in these areas.
Literacy is the ability to read, write, listen and speak as a method of communication. Students should be encouraged to use correct vocabulary and punctuation when writing essays and delivering presentations. Teachers should set tasks that allow students to communicate with each other, therefore improving their literacy skills.
For example, in the beauty industry, it is essential for students to be able to understand the basic English language. They have to understand their client's needs and read the ingredients in the products. All of this requires basic literacy skills, courses should include them and encourage students to read, write, speak and listen.
Numeracy is essential for everyone as it helps individuals develop reasoning and logical thinking skills. We need numeracy to make sense of numbers, solve problems, tell time, identify patterns and show trends. For example, cookery students need to calculate weights, costs, cooking times and temperatures. These are essential skills for cookery students so must be embedded in the lesson plans.
Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
ICT is present in most aspects of modern living; from mobile phones, tablets and smart technology to enterprise applications. Many careers now include an element of technology. Therefore individuals need to be familiar with how to use the various hardware and applications available.
The ability to communicate, perform even basic calculations and use technology is critical to modern living. A grasp of the basics can make you more employable.