Welcome

Skills.Direct supports training providers to deliver maths, English and ICT with online programmes tutored and assessed by our own subject specialists.

We work with providers to ensure their provision meets all criteria for quality and audit, and that skills development is embedded effectively into the learners’ main courses.

Skills.Direct offers a full service delivered by a team with expertise and leadership in education and digital delivery.
 

 

We Offer:

  • Consultation and review of current practice, with education and business-case analysis of your Functional Skills delivery by an OFSTED-trained consultant
  • Custom website creation for Functional Skills delivery to your learners OR integration of courses into your own LMS
  • Training and support for your tutors and assessors in embedding FS in main courses
  • Initial Assessment of all learners, with ILR for Functional Skills candidates
  • Fully tutored and assessed courses delivered online
  • Exam preparation and delivery on your site with full training for invigilation and compliance
 


We also offer content creation and customisation to your branding, context or corporate needs, and digitisation of your existing resources for your main courses so that learners can operate in a single platform.

Case Studies


Fashion Technology Academy

“Skills Direct allows us as a company to deliver the Functional Skills our apprentices need. It’s been incredibly convenient to be able to slot the provision into our training schedules, and the learners have been delighted with the programmes and the support they get from their online tutors. It’s proved a fantastic way to meet this really important need.”


– Jenny Holloway, CEO Fashion Technology Academy

Kerry Logistics

“The ICT courses our staff have undertaken with Skills Direct have supported our company’s efforts to upskill our staff to meet the changing needs of our market. They’ve provided a clear audit of the skills our staff possess and worked with us all over the country delivering the training with the minimum disruption to work, and maximum ROI on the time spent transforming our workforce.”

– Rob Hilton, Business Change Manager, Kerry Logistics (UK) Ltd

Initial Assessment


Our adaptive Initial Assessment delivers a spiky profile detailing levels in each key skill area. Fully auto-marked and requiring no tutor intervention, it’s a quick and efficient way to get a clear perspective on learners’ needs.

Easy to administer, our assessment delivers a detailed analysis of learner performance in each key skill area:

Maths

  • Whole numbers
  • Fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Money, measure and time
  • Shape and position
  • Formulas and equations
  • Data, statistics and probability
  • Proportion, ratio and scale

English

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking, listening and discussion
Post-assessment, learners are assigned to the courses at the appropriate level in each category.

Maths & English


Difficulties in staffing and delivering maths and English to Level 2 can prevent providers taking on some of their most promising apprenticeship recruits. Effective delivery is expensive and difficult to scale or to deliver in the flexible way required to balance demands on learners and employers.

Our solution is to support your assessors by providing online courses with specialist tutors to deliver the maths and English programmes, while your staff focus on the integration, professional and pastoral elements that are equally vital to learners’ success.

Our services deliver comprehensive preparation for Functional Skills examinations with programmes of study providing learning and progression based on detailed diagnostic assessment at every stage.

Skills Drills

Skills Drills provide short, focused auto-marked quizzes grouped by diagnostic descriptor. They provide practice and effective diagnostic level checkers to map progression.

The Skills Drills can be used in a variety of ways:

  • As ‘deeper diagnostics’ to confirm and clarify IA results.
  • As a quick check to identify how secure underpinning skills are on a certain topic, or to see how well a concept has been understood.
  • As a ‘distance travelled’ assessment to provide evidence of progression and skills development over time.
  • As a revision aid or review to check on how well a range of skills have been learned and retained.

Masterclasses

The Masterclass activities teach first principles, develop the concepts through presentation, explanation, practice and formative assessment.

Each session has a primary focus on a particular topic within the assessment objectives framework, so that the complete curriculum is covered within each Individual Learning Plan. Learning focuses on knowledge and understanding of key concepts, then their application to  Functional Skills tasks with extended coaching in the disciplines required to pass the exams.

Workouts

The Workouts are exam-like assessment questions that form the bulk of the preparation for the Functional Skills exams. Marked by the tutors, they provide an accurate picture of the learners’ progression from grasping underlying concepts to using them to solve problems in Functional Skills examination.

The Workouts offer a mix of auto-marked and tutor-marked questions that require longer and more thorough responses, evidence of the problem-solving process, and elements of reflection and review.

  • For learners, there is feedback and guidance on progression and suggested next steps.
  • For tutors, there is detailed guidance on marking and next steps to support progression.

Progression & Examination

The courses are delivered through Individual Learning Plans, and can comprise between ten and 36 sessions, depending on the individual learner’s starting level and the level of award required (Entry L3, Level 1 or Level 2).

All learning is overseen and managed by the personal tutors, who will fine-tune the learning plan to ensure timely achievement and provide the go-ahead for entry to the examinations. 

While we are an approved delivery centre for Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance, our courses meet the requirements for all regulated Functional Skills awards to Level 2.

We are happy to work with a training organisation’s existing Functional Skills awarding body, and will support past-paper delivery and exam practice with any resources the AO makes available.

Principle Strands

Maths

  • Whole numbers
  • Fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Money, measure and time
  • Shape and position
  • Formulas and equations
  • Data, statistics and probability
  • Proportion, ratio and scale

English

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking, listening and discussion

ICT


Skills Development & Auditing

We also offer course customisation, and preparation for Functional Skills Level 3 awards to support digital literacy and skills development in organisations, alongside custom platform deployment across organisations. Our training can provide an effective audit of staff competencies and be delivered as staff development programmes and business transformation.

“The ICT courses our staff have undertaken with Skills Direct have supported our company’s efforts to upskill our staff to meet the changing needs of our market. They’ve provided a clear audit of the skills our staff possess and worked with us all over the country delivering the training with the minimum disruption to work, and maximum ROI on the time spent transforming our workforce.”

– Rob Hilton, Business Change Manager, Kerry Logistics (UK) Ltd

We offer courses in Functional Skills ICT at Level 1 and Level 2 for delivery in the workplace with remote tutor support via our video-conference suite.

The programme is in three sections and is set in a context of working for a fictional digital design agency. It covers a variety of software applications and skills in a range of disciplines, closely mapped to the demands of the Functional Skills assessment objectives: 
 

1. Using ICT

This explores the essentials of using a computer, including how to choose appropriate applications and software to perform different tasks. You will use these skills to complete a range of tasks, and you will also show that you can safely and securely manage and organise files and folders.
 

2. Finding and selecting information

This section is concerned with searching, organising and analysing information.
 

3. Developing, presenting and communicating information

The final section employs the earlier skills and requires you to complete tasks by gathering, organising, presenting and communicating information in clear ways, using the most suitable applications for the tasks and audience. You will be looking at editing, formatting and layout techniques, using text, tables, graphics, charts and graphs and other digital content.

The Platform


Skills.Direct is built on the open source LMS Moodle, with bespoke custom plugins to handle elements like our adaptive testing. Our content is built with enhancements based on the Bootstrap framework.
 

It’s fast, light and mobile-friendly

We’ve built the system on this basis because we aren’t interested in tying users to the platform. We want institutions to be able to access our product in any way they want – on our system or their own.

Therefore, institutions can access our courses through our platform or we can provide them with their own version of it as a managed service. We can also serve the courses from our system into their own – or indeed pass the content into an offline version within a secure network.

Our priority is delivering a powerful and flexible platform for teaching and learning. Also, our own system can offer our comprehensive data dashboarding to keep users informed of key milestones, and initiate informed interventions.
 

Talk to us about how best we can support your learners, tutors and managers to meet your goals in maths, English and ICT Functional Skills delivery.

Services


Skills.Direct is a product of Cambridge Digital. We're a registered training provider (UKPRN 10062124) and provide educational consultancy, content creation services and platforms for learning and content management to educational clients in the UK and around the world.

We build bespoke courses for online and blended learning delivery through custom versions of Skills.Direct – (see rbli.skills.direct as an example). We digitise existing paper-based content, or write and create new materials – and bring the publishing skills and experience of more than a decade of production for the UK’s major educational publishers.


Further services include:

  • Curriculum design
  • Bid writing, project gearing and delivery
  • Contract management
  • Integration of audit, quality assurance and ILR back office functions
  • Education services including remote tutoring


Please contact us to discuss your needs.

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