From education to employment

Skills Minister and market traders combine to highlight adult numeracy issues

Skills Minister Phil Hope MP launched the government’s “Get On” numeracy drive with the help of the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) earlier this week.

Mr Hope paid tribute to the numeracy skills of traders up and down the country who will play their part in encouraging people to get into free local basic skills courses, targeting 14.9 million adults who lack the skills to pass a maths GCSE.

Speaking at the launch in London, he said: “This partnership with the NMTF is right on the money and shows the importance of good maths skills. Market traders can tot up bills without a moment’s thought ““ after all, how often do you see a till on stall?”

“As confident counters we think they set a great example for people who might be less sure with their maths, and we believe they are keen to make the most of their very visible role in the local community”.

“Get On” branded carrier bags and scratch cards encouraging people improve their numeracy skills will be handed out as part of the campaign as 435 millions trips to markets are made by shoppers in the UK per year.

He took his place behind a market stall in London as part of the campaign and paid tribute to the numeracy skills of the nation’s 46,000 stallholders.

Trader Charlie Cook, Chairman of the Church Street market added: “I have worked as a market trader all my life, and take my maths skills for granted. However, when I think about how often I need to calculate costs in my head, and how much slower I would be at my job if I had to use a calculator every day, I realise how important they are”.

“I”m looking forward to working with the Get On campaign, and would encourage anyone out there who doesn”t feel very confident with maths to find out more about the campaign, to build on what they can already do”.

Those interested in the campaign are encouraged to call the free helpline on 0800 100 900 and find out about improving their skills and enrolling on a free course.

Tiffany Dickinson.

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