These are defined as communication, application of number, information technology (IT), working with others, improving own learning and performance, and problem‐solving. They form a part of the post‐16 curriculum. Recognition is given to all six, but only the first three are externally assessed. Their inception can be traced back to a document entitled A Basis for Choice, produced by the Further Education Unit in 1979, which advocated a core entitlement for all students in further education which should include communication, numeracy, and personal skills, arguing that these were the core skills demanded by employers. In 1990 the National Curriculum Council listed six core skills, the development of which should form a part of the post‐16 vocational curriculum. These were communication, numeracy, IT, problem‐solving, personal skills, and a modern foreign language, and corresponded to the core skills being promoted at that time by the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative. In the same year there was a recommendation from the Schools Examination and Assessment Council that core skills should also become a part of the Advanced Level curriculum. This recommendation was repeated in the Dearing Review of Qualifications for 16–19‐Year‐Olds (1996), in which core skills were identified as one of the strengths of the General National Vocational Qualification curriculum. The skills were referred to in this document as ‘key’ skills, and this terminology continues to be used, while the skills areas referred to remain the same. See also functional skills.
http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_6455.aspx Provides the detailed list and links to all levels.