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78% of adults in England have numeracy levels below the equivalent of a C at GCSE, yet ‘good numeracy is the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor health’ according to Andreas Schleicher, the Head of Education Research at the OECD.

Poor numeracy is the productivity ‘elephant in the room’ – but it can be addressed effectively if we look at the issue in a different way.

THE ISSUE
Poor numeracy – or everyday maths – is a big issue in the UK; arguably the biggest single education and skills issue facing the country. In 2012, the government-commissioned Skills for Life survey showed that 78% of adults have a level of numeracy below the equivalent of a C at GCSE (Level 2), with 17 million working-age adults in England alone at a numeracy level expected of primary school children (Entry Levels). The equivalent figures for literacy are 43% and 5 million adults. Research commissioned by National Numeracy and carried out by Pro Bono Economics estimates that low numeracy costs the economy at least £20.2 billion annually (1.3 % of GDP). At a national level, the correlation with poor productivity is remarkably strong; could a new approach to addressing numeracy issues build resilience and work readiness in your employment services delivery?

NATIONAL NUMERACY
National Numeracy is an independent charity established in 2012 to improve numeracy among both adults and children and to promote the importance of everyday maths skills. We aim to challenge negative attitudes, influence public policy and promote effective approaches to improving attainment. We work in partnership with other organisations to achieve these aims. Our unique approach focusses on building resilience and is embodied in the ‘Essentials of Numeracy’, which underpins all of our work.

THE SOLUTION (or at least a step in the right direction…)
National Numeracy can provide a tailored package of support for the ‘…and numeracy’ element of your delivery, focusing on each individual’s numeracy need and providing a clear indicator of a learner’s attainment throughout. The Challenge Check-Up provides an adaptive assessment of an individual’s current attainment before routing them into appropriate learning resources within the Challenge to help them improve. This routing is tailored to each participant to ensure that those who are benefiting from the resources have a genuine and ongoing role in their own learning. It also promotes sustainable learning as the learner can access the Challenge from any location and from pre-employment into employment as part of a long-term package of support. National Numeracy can provide bespoke support for the partner organisation, which may include Challenge Champions training or more comprehensive numeracy train-the-trainer support.

NEXT STEPS
To find out about how NN could support you with the ‘…and numeracy’ element of your employment services delivery, please contact Sally Hilton on sally@nationalnumeracy.org.uk or 07950 565367 or 01273 915044