Multiply in Essex: Boost your confidence with free ‘everyday’ maths courses
Education / Sun 5th Feb 2023 at 11:42am
HARLOW residents aged 19 and over can now sign up to free courses to improve their maths skills and even gain a qualification, as the Multiply programme officially launches across the county.
From managing our personal finances, to helping children with schoolwork, to using numbers at work, maths is a part of our everyday life, even if we don’t always realise it.
Essex County Council (ECC) has been given £7.9million from the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver and manage the Multiply programme locally over the next three years.
This includes delivering 14,200 new opportunities for Essex residents to improve their maths skills by March 2025. It will also enable local businesses to upskill their employees for free.
The aim is to break down barriers to maths, show adults how maths can be applied to everyday life and make learning fun.
The launch of the national programme in Essex comes following a DfE study of numeracy skills levels across the country. Essex wasranked 114 out of 151 local authorities in England for maths skills, the 38th lowest in the UK.
Multiply in Essex will support people to achieve maths qualifications up to NVQ2 (GCSE at grade 4 to 9 or A*to C). Not having this qualification often prevents people from progressing to NVQ3 and above, as well as limiting the job opportunities available to them.
Just over half of 16-64-year-olds (51.2%) in Essex hold qualifications in any subject at NVQ3 or above, compared to the national (GB) average of 61.5%.
Cllr Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability said: “Multiply is a great opportunity for residents of Essex to increase their maths and numeracy skills. We forget how often we use maths in our everyday lives, from measuring out a recipe, working out what we can afford to buy, to understanding bills and payslips. With budgets getting tighter due to the increased cost of living, it is more important than ever that we are confident in managing our personal finances.”
He added: “Improving our maths skills opens new opportunities for career development and could help residents with starting-up a business too. We can help local employers to access free, tailored courses to support their employees to upskill – offering real benefits to their businesses.”
Short bite-sized and longer-term courses are now available at further education colleges, adult community learning, local libraries, and other community venues across the county.
Courses will focus on supporting residents to improve their maths skills to gain qualifications, help boost their career prospects, manage their finances and help children with their schoolwork.
The campaign has already gained support from consumer champion, Matt Allwright and TV presenter and maths guru, Johnny Ball, who will attend an event in Essex in the coming weeks.
Matt Allwright, says: “This is a great opportunity to improve maths and numeracy skills. By understanding where your money goes, you’ll be much better placed to manage your finances, and search out the best deals. I couldn’t do my job without a good grasp of maths. I’m always working out price increases and converting them to percentages, and broadcasting live means you have to calculate timings quickly, or you can either run out of time or have an awkward silence!”
Residents and businesses can find out more and sign up to a course on the Essex Opportunities website.
A pity that schools are so restricted that they can't "break down barriers to maths, show adults" (and children) " how maths can be applied to everyday life and make learning fun." : The same applies to sciences (especially Physics) and Engineering (not as such on the curriculum anymore), and music, the arts and most other subjects. Oh! that's virtually the whole National curriculum!. No wonder we have a low skills economy in England.