From education to employment

Bridging the gap: Strengthening Maths and English Skills in the UK


In the ever-changing landscape of education, two subjects remain fundamental for personal and professional success: Maths and English. No matter what route an individual decides to take in life, numerical and literacy-related challenges will be faced in both a personal and professional capacity on a regular basis.

Despite being highly valuable skills, the problem of inadequate numeracy and literacy skills in the UK remains. The Learning and Work Institute reported that in England, 9 million adults possess low literacy or numeracy levels, and there has been a significant 60% decline in the number of adults completing English and maths studies since 2012.

Not only can low numeracy and literacy skills have an impact on a person’s education and career opportunities, it can also have an impact on their mental health and well-being. Findings from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills indicate that adults with poor literacy skills have lower levels of political efficacy, poorer health, lower levels of trust in others and are less likely to participate in volunteering activities.

The proficiency gaps in maths and English also present a significant challenge for many employers. According to a recent study, a considerable number of employees in the UK lack the fundamental skills required for effective communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. These deficiencies have a substantial impact on a businesses’ production levels, service delivery, reputation, and growth.

Addressing numeracy and literacy skills gaps in the UK is a multifaceted challenge that requires a collaborative effort from educators, policymakers and the community. By investing in professional development and fostering community engagement, we can help to equip learners with the skills they need to succeed.

At NOCN, we offer a full suite of high-quality Functional Skills qualifications from Entry Level 1 to Level 2, that are designed to help learners of all ages develop essential maths and English skills in order to equip them with the practical skills and knowledge required to learn, work and live successfully. Alongside the qualifications, we provide a complete support package including initial assessments, diagnostic tools and over 400 teaching resources to guide tutors through the delivery of Functional Skills. We also provide support for learners via the NOCN Pocketskills app, where students can enhance their knowledge and prepare for assessments at a time and place that suits them.

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