Free Maths courses help adults move up career ladder

16th January 2024

A group of adults from Solihull College & University Centre are celebrating boosting their career prospects by passing their Functional Skills Maths course.

Functional Skills Maths and English courses, offered at a variety of levels, are designed to help students improve skills for work, everyday life, and gain a nationally recognised qualification. The qualification can improve career prospects as well as enable progression to other courses such as GCSEs, apprenticeships or Access to Higher Education courses.

The courses take place at the College’s Blossomfield and Woodlands Campus as well as various community venues across the region.

This group of students completed their course at the Brandwood Centre in Kings Heath, which recently secured money from the National Lottery Community Fund to continue to deliver their Train-To-Gain programme, which helps the local community gain the experience and confidence they need to discover new opportunities. The College also has partnerships with Widney School, Shirley Library and St Andrews Church.

group of mature students outside the Brandwood Centre
Students who passed their recent Functional Skills Maths course

Functional Skills Maths is designed to develop practical mathematics skills necessary for everyday life. Students will be taught how to apply mathematical knowledge and problem-solving techniques to a range of real-life scenarios.

Student Nigel recently passed his Maths Functional Skills qualification. He says the reason he wanted to do it was simple: “I left school with no GCSEs and went to work on a production line. I’m now looking for a new role and employers all want maths and English GCSEs. It’s always been a stumbling block for me to not have those qualifications, so I went to this course as a starting point. We had a good teacher who was friendly and helpful, and I passed. My advice to anyone thinking of doing the course, is just to give it a go, you have nothing to lose!”

Functional Skills Apprenticeship Coordinator, Paul Doidge, commented: “Teaming up with our local community to deliver Maths and English courses can be a game-changer for many adult students. Learning takes place in a supportive and welcoming environment right on their doorstep. Developing Maths and English skills and gaining new qualifications can make an enormous difference to people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Similar to Functional Skills Maths, Functional Skills English develops skills students need to progress in their careers and help with everyday life.

Find out more about the College’s Maths and English courses starting in early 2024: Courses starting in 2024