Number Confidence Week

Number Confidence Week is a great time to put a spotlight on the challenges we face with numeracy levels across the UK and the opportunities we have to make a difference, for individuals, employers and the economy.

10 November 2022

Developing numeracy skills has a significant positive impact on people’s lives. Day-to-day, they help people with tasks such as managing bills, budgeting, shopping, and cooking. In addition, people with good numeracy skills are more likely to be in employment, have higher wages and benefit from better health outcomes.

Improving numeracy levels also affects businesses and the wider economy. Low numeracy skills have been estimated to be costing the UK as much as £25 billion per year. Numeracy, alongside literacy and digital skill development are critical to social mobility and will be key factors in our capacity to recover from the pandemic and thrive as a nation.

But recent government statistics indicate that 17 million adults within the UK have the numeracy levels of that of a primary-aged child. And participation in maths programmes has declined significantly over recent years.

There are many reasons why this is the case. Reductions in the funding available are partly to blame but research conducted last year by the Learning and Work Institute found that half of adults are not even aware that they can access free English and maths courses.

The government’s Multiply programme, part of their Levelling Up initiative, goes same way to addressing these issues. The government aims to provide free, flexible courses for adults who need to improve their numeracy (up to and including level 2 or equivalent).

Here at City & Guilds, we are excited about the launch of Multiply and the government’s renewed focus on numeracy skills.

It’s critical that we spread the word about the availability of maths training, and encourage people to access the resources that are on offer. We will have further updates about City & Guilds’ involvement with the Multiply programme over the coming months.

In the meantime, there are tools and activities that people can get involved in as part of Number Confidence Week. Take the National Numeracy Challenge or visit the Number Confidence Week hub for free resources and downloadable activities for all the family.