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£7.9m plan to help over 14,000 Essex residents brush up their maths skills

Education: Secondary / Thu 14th Jul 2022 am31 07:47am

LAUNCHING in the autumn ‘Multiply’ is a new initiative that will offer over 14,000 Essex residents easy access to free maths and finance training.

Essex County Council (ECC) has asked Government for the maximum £7.9 million allocation to help residents gain a qualification, get into employment or generally build their confidence in using numeracy at work or in their everyday life.

The funding, which will be spread over the next three years, comes following analysis of skill levels which showed a significant gap in adult numeracy in Essex, compared to the national average. This can limit people’s ability to get a job and to get promoted in work.

To help address this, Multiply will support adults who don’t currently have a maths GCSE at grade C or equivalent.

Essex County Council has submitted an investment plan to the Department for Education setting out how it will take an innovative approach to reach those residents who most need these basic skills, offering them convenient and appealing ways to get training.

There will be courses for beginners and those who want to build on the foundations of their maths knowledge, through to more advanced courses such as GCSE maths.

People can either be already working towards a maths qualification, need specific numeracy skills for their job or just want to brush up on their skills to help them get on in life and work.

The training will support Essex residents by giving them free access to training, as well as local businesses by ensuring potential employees have the knowledge and training needed to fulfil their role.

Through Multiply, Essex will be able to expand its support and learning offer to parents to upskill and to support their children with their school work. This will further compliment next steps for Essex County Council’s Year of Reading (2022), where it will be looking to develop a similar approach around numeracy for 2023.

The investment plan proposes the following priorities for Essex:

Helping people use numeracy to manage their money – to help address cost of living pressures.
Numeracy skills required in the workplace delivered with employers
Helping parents increase their numeracy skills in order to help their children and themselves – working closely with schools.
Engaging the hardest to reach learners – such as the long-term unemployed and recent care leavers.
Cllr Tony Ball, ECC’s Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, said: “Now more than ever, people need basic maths and numeracy skills at work, and to manage their household finances effectively. We have asked the Government for the maximum funding allocation and have submitted an ambitious and innovative plan to ensure we reach the Essex residents who most need these core skills.

“Training will be provided in partnership with the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) across Essex, Further Education colleges and other local partners, as well as through ECC Services like ACL Essex and Libraries. Further information about how to access the courses will be shared in the autumn once the Government decides whether to approve the plan that ECC has submitted and give the maximum funding allocation of £7.9m.”

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