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£4m funding plan to boost numeracy skills in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough


£4m funding plan to boost numeracy skills in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

A plan will be submitted to Government detailing how £4 million in funding allocated to the Combined Authority will be used to raise numeracy skills across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The Combined Authority was allocated the funding through Multiply, a £559m Government-funded initiative aiming to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of adults across the UK through adult numeracy programmes, boosting confidence to help support people’s careers and wider life skills.

The £4m funding will run for three years and is subject to Government approval of a plan being developed by the  Combined Authority to help tailor the Multiply offer specifically for the region. The plan will contribute to The Combined Authority’s wider skills strategy to build a better skilled workforce to improve lives and wellbeing, support employers’ needs, and to attract more national and global investment into the area.

Improving numeracy skills helps people unlock new job or training opportunities, achieve higher wages and support with everyday living like bills and budgeting or helping children with homework. Developing better life skills at work and home can create a better sense of wellbeing and overall quality of life.

The three key aims of Multiply are to give adults more numeracy qualifications, especially GCSE maths and Functional Skills Qualifications, to help more people into sustainable employment and reduce numeracy skills gaps for employers, and to generally increase adult numeracy across the area.

The Combined Authority Board heard a report on the Multiply investment plan at its meeting on Monday, June 27. Colleges, adult learning centres and training providers will be offering the Multiply courses in the autumn.

National Numeracy Day launched last month with a Multiply numeracy checker – a short online quiz to help people understand areas of numeracy they might want to improve. The Combined Authority supported the awareness day as a Lead Delivery Partner, encouraging schools, businesses and residents to get involved and talk about numbers, as part of its commitment to improving numeracy in the region.

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said:

“Numeracy skills have a big impact on people’s lives, from their income to their health and wellbeing. This £4 million investment plan, if approved, will be a welcome boost and will make courses accessible to people of all abilities. A really important element is that the Combined Authority will be able to provide numeracy skills and training free of charge.

“This funding comes shortly after the announcement this spring of nearly £5 million for new Skills Bootcamps for the region. Multiply will further support the Combined Authority’s crucial role in creating a higher skilled Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

Subject to approval by the Department for Education of the Multiply investment plan, the Combined Authority with announce further details as the autumn launch approaches. For more information about the nationwide Multiply programme please visit Skills for Life.