Cabinet set to approve plan to improve adult numeracy in Derby

Published: 7 June 2022

Woman working out sums by using a calculator

The funding is intended to boost adult numeracy skills

A programme to boost adult numeracy skills leading to better job prospects could get the go-ahead by Councillors on Wednesday 15 June.

Council cabinet is expected to accept an allocation of £1.3million from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is a key part of its “levelling up” agenda and aims to help people secure jobs with increased skills.

Intended to help Derby citizens build their confidence with Maths in their everyday and working lives, the three-year programme, known as Multiply, is due to start this autumn.

It will offer free, flexible courses to adults who do not already have a level 2 in Maths and need to improve their numeracy.

Poor numeracy skills can hold people back from having the confidence to get on in life and into work. Government statistics suggest that 17 million adults – 49% of the working-age population of England – have the numeracy level expected of primary schoolchildren.

The Derby Multiply project will be delivered by Derby Adult Learning Service (DALS) and will prioritise

  • Life skills – addressing the cost-of-living crisis and providing training that helps people to manage debt, understand and negotiate with suppliers who use percentages and interest rates, graphs and financial descriptions to sell services to Derby residents.
  • Employability skills – working with local employers and jobseekers to improve skills relevant to the workplace
  • Progression to level 2 Maths which is often a requirement to be able to progress into management positions.

There will also be opportunities for Derby’s voluntary, creative and community organisations to work in partnership with DALS to deliver certain elements of the programme.

Councillor Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills at Derby City Council, said:

Maths is a big part of everyday life and basic numeracy is an essential skill, especially during these times of rising costs when managing money has never been more crucial.

Many people are not confident in their Maths ability but feel they don’t have the time or money to improve it. The Multiply programme will give people the opportunity to join free numeracy courses that fit around their lives and work.

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