From education to employment

UK’s first National Numeracy Day celebrates the importance of numbers

New research released today to mark the launch of the UK’s first ever National Numeracy Day has shown that anxiety around numeracy and maths could be holding back millions of people from getting on at work or getting a better deal on their personal finances. The charity behind National Numeracy Day, National Numeracy, along with the campaign’s founding supporter KPMG, are hoping the event will raise awareness of the many benefits of good numeracy and help people to feel more confident in improving their skills.

  • Poor numeracy skills are holding back very many people in the UK who are failing to access and complete learning because of insufficient skills with numbers.  
  • 18.5m working age adults have poor or low numeracy levels yet only 36% of those surveyed online say they want to improve
  • Research carried out online by YouGov on behalf of National Numeracy showed that almost one in five (19%) of us admitted to making a mistake with numbers at work, while 7% have felt stressed due to the maths involved in our jobs. Just 4% of workers say they have been given training and support by their employer to improve their numeracy.

Building confidence with numeracy concepts is vital to helping people on the path to improved work prospects.  Ufi are delighted to be supporting National Numeracy as part of our investment in different approaches to helping people overcome problems in learning maths. Our funding has supported game based Stardash Studios app and Firm Foundations Digital from National Numeracy. By supporting a range of approaches, Ufi are able to identify wider lessons on using digital approaches to improve numeracy. With new tools we hope to see fewer people held back at work by a lack of numeracy skills, and a positive impact on those organisations who need people with these skills.

Mike Ellicock, Chief Executive of National Numeracy, says:

“We know from experience that attitudes have a huge role to play in holding people back from improving their numeracy skills, with many people telling us they are just not ‘numbers people’ or that they don’t believe they need to improve. However, we believe that many of us are just getting by when we could be getting ahead: earning more, saving more and doing the things we love better. Simply by getting a better grip on our numbers.”

Rebecca Garrod-Waters, Ufi CEO, says:

“Some of the current statistics around numeracy are staggering – nearly half of the working age population currently have the numeracy skills equivalent to those of a primary school student. Meanwhile, those with poor numeracy are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed.

At Ufi, we believe that technology can play an essential role in helping people overcome barriers to learning, including lack of numeracy. This is why we support innovation in digital tech that provides adults with opportunities to learn and develop their skills when, where and how it best suits them. We are proud to support National Numeracy Day, a great example of how tech is helping improve skills for work.

Overall, we believe that quicker, better, digital is the future of vocational learning. We look forward to seeing many more people using numbers with confidence at work and using their new skills to get more and better jobs – showing that we are all ‘numbers people’ at heart!”

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