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MP: "Numbers add up for national numeracy initiative"

January 23, 2014 10:31 AM

TF KendalLocal MP Tim Farron is supporting the National Numeracy Initiative, a campaign to reduce the number of adults in the UK with low levels of numeracy by over 1 million in the next five years.

The campaign seeks to improve 'everyday maths'; the maths that helps people to make decisions in day-to-day adult life and work. Without a reasonable level of numeracy, people may not be able to manage their money through to pay-day, plan journeys or understand interest rates, medical information or promotional offers.

The Skills for Life Survey (2011) found that 17 million people of working age in England had, at best, the numeracy skills expected of children by the end of primary school. Over 8 million of these adults had the skills expected of 7-9 year-olds or younger.

Improving numeracy across the nation will have many positive effects on people lives. For example, numeracy skills have a strong impact on employment and earnings. Adults with Level 1 numeracy or above earn on average 26% more than adults with skills below this level. Among men and women born in 1970, those with poor numeracy were more than twice as likely to be unemployed and were far less likely to receive work-related training, get a promotion or receive a rise compared to those with good numeracy.

The scheme will be officially launched in March 2014. For more information visit the National Numeracy website at nationalnumeracy.org.uk.

Tim says: "Being able to work confidently with numbers is the key that unlocks so many doors in life. Yet so many people seem to regard this as something alien or frightening, but there's no reason why it should be. That's why I welcome the National Numeracy initiative, it could make a massive difference."