Functional Skills – English

Open up opportunities. This course is the equivalent to completing your English GCSE’s – perfect for anyone looking to top up their skills and open up hundreds of career paths.

100% free

Nationally accredited

Employment support

Individual learning plan

Online or classroom based

Join over 50,000 people who have upskilled with Strive Training!

Course Description

Make sure your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills are up-to-scratch for your further education or the workforce.

This course will also develop your English skills – with a focus on the spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and grammar fundamentals that you’ll need in everyday life, the workplace and in education. We’ll work on improving your reading comprehension, and ability to communicate effectively – ensuring you’ll be a responsive and competent colleague.

For those of you looking to gain an English GCSE equivalent, this course is the perfect way to open doors to countless careers and opportunities. Universities and colleges will accept this qualification for further education courses, like teaching and nursing, as well as apprenticeships.

You will receive a 100% personalised learning plan based on your current English skills. 

Free Course for: Anyone who is unemployed and aged 19 or over who has been living in the European Union for the last 3 years

Levels available: Entry Level (EL 1, EL2, EL3), Level 1 and Level 2. We will assess which level is right for you.

Certified Awarding Body: NCFE

Course starting dates: September 20

There are two ways to complete the course:

Classroom based learning is available for Entry Level and Level 1 courses. This arrangement will take 4 weeks to complete:

  • Mon-Wed: Croydon training center
  • Thu-Fri: Home study

Online learning is available for Level 1 and Level 2 courses. If you were to spend three hours per week on the qualification, it will take 6-12 weeks to complete, based on your specific learning personal learning plan. Please note that you will need to complete the final exam in our Croydon training centre.

Course Content
  • Text focus: Improving reading comprehension skills
  • Sentence focus: Understanding grammar
  • Word focus: Vocabulary, word recognition and phonics
  • How to communicate effectively through speaking and listening
  • Produce different types of documents using correct structure, spelling, punctuation, and grammar
  • Listening and responding
  • How to construct sentences
  • Develop writing skills using a wide range of language and vocabulary
Are you eligible to complete this qualification for free?

This qualification is 100% government funded if:

  • You were born before the 31st August 2002
  • You must currently live in England. However, anyone living in the following areas is not eligible for funding: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands and West of England
  • You have lived in the European Union for the last 3 years (unless you have have been given a special Visa/Residence permits that gives you the permanent right to remain)
  • Are Unemployed and can provide evidence (Subject to eligibility)
  • Can provide Identifications and relevant documentation as required
  • If on the 31st of August 2020, you were aged between 19-23, you need to have gained a full level 2 qualification (e.g. five or more GCSE/O-Levels at grades A* – C / 4 – 9, one A-Level, two/three AS-Levels, five or more CSE grade 1’s, GNVQ Intermediate, QCF Diploma Level 2)

Why Learn with Us

A fully certified and nationally accredited qualification

100% government funded - you don't pay anything! (Check your eligibility.)

Ongoing and comprehensive one-to-one support from an expert assessor

Comprehensive employment support service

All our courses are free for those who are employed and unemployed, subject to eligibility.
We are adding the ability to enroll yourself very soon, but in the meantime, please fill out the form on this page - and someone from the team will get in touch with you within a day.
Yes, anyone who is employed or unemployed can enroll on any of our courses, subject to eligibility.
No, you can start when you are ready and enroll when you are ready.
You can enroll on one course at a time, but you can do as many as you like to achieve your career goals. We are happy to give you information, advice and guidance on any courses you wish to complete.
Of course. All our courses are accredited courses and you will receive a nationally recognized certification on achievement.
Your assessor will be available to support you through email or our messaging system and provide feedback on all your assignments you submit.
Yes, you will be provided with regular progress updates.
Yes, there are further courses that will become available in due course, we will be keeping our website updated regularly, but if you would like to be notified please email us at
We continually try to make learning simple and transparent. Learning through our online platform is incredibly easy and you can navigate around your qualification quickly and access all the learning materials as soon as you login. Your studying should be about what you learn, not how you learn it. Which is why we make the entire process as simple as possible to help you adjust to learning online.
Next Steps

Simply complete the short form on the right. You'll then immediately be able to complete your Fast-Track online registration.

This registration process will confirm your eligibility to have your qualification 100% government funded. Join 50,000 other learners who have chosen to upskill with Strive Training - register now!

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