National Numeracy Day

09 May 2023

City & Guilds are supporting this year’s National Numeracy Day, taking place on 17 May. The day is a celebration of maths, and “building brighter futures through confidence with numbers”.  

Our recent survey of 381 maths and English professionals across the UK highlighted the importance of learner and employer engagement in improving numeracy and literacy rates across the country. 

Two of the current top priorities for maths and English professionals are helping people to improve their life chances with maths and English, and improving regional and national numeracy and literacy rates. The factor chosen by most professionals as key to achieving these objectives was increased learner engagement. 

In addition, maths anxiety and learner disengagement were seen as the biggest challenges to the implementation of the Government’s proposed plan to increase the compulsory age of maths education to the age of 18 in England. 

It is very common for people to have maths anxiety. This has often developed from struggling with maths at school and experiences of failing tests and exams. Maths anxiety can lead people to avoid engaging with any activities, at home or at work, that involve maths. And can make them reluctant to improve their numeracy skills through the many further education and adult courses on offer. 

However, many studies have shown that improving numeracy skills can have multiple positive benefits on a person’s life: people with good numeracy skills are more likely to be in employment, have higher wages, and enjoy better well-being.  

Employers can also gain many benefits from upskilling numeracy skills within their workforce. In our survey, maths and English professionals responded that employers need to understand how maths and English is fundamental to all job roles and ages, and need to better appreciate the tangible and wider benefits of maths and English training.  

Almost every job requires the ability to communicate and use numbers confidently, along with the capacity to problem solve and use technology effectively. Improved workforce numeracy skills has been shown to increase productivity and drive efficiencies. It can also have a positive impact on staff retention, commitment and loyalty through increasing people’s confidence and investing in their training and development. 

On the National Numeracy website, there are many resources for overcoming your own maths anxiety, as well as how to help a friend, family member or colleague who lacks confidence with numbers.  

There are also lots of fun ways to get involved with National Numeracy Day

  • Take the National Numeracy Challenge 
  • Join the #BigNumberNatter 
  • Enter the Number Heroes competition 

And keep an eye on our social media channels on the day for posts on how people at City & Guilds use maths every day, at work and at home.