Multiply is a government-funded programme offering free numeracy courses for adults aged 19 and over without a math GCSE at grade C or equivalent. The programme aims to improve job prospects, help individuals earn higher wages, and enhance everyday skills such as budgeting and helping with homework. Choose from beginner to advanced courses, including GCSE Maths and Functional Skills Qualifications, at your own pace.
Multiply aims to help people improve their ability to understand and use maths in daily life, home, and the workplace. This may be improving household finances, helping children with homework, comprehension of media statistics, or improving numeracy skills specific to a line of work. To achieve this, Multiply will offer a range of options such as personal support, digital training and flexible courses that fit around lives and are tailored to specific needs, circumstances, sectors, and industries.
Multiply programme support is based on a stepping-stone approach and does not have to be qualification related. The programme is delivered informally to those who need and want to improve their numeracy skills.
We know that many local people may have negative feelings towards formal learning and courses that overtly emphasise ‘mathematics’. Some will be deterred by a lack of confidence (“I’m rubbish with numbers”, “I was terrible at maths at school” etc.) and may be reluctant to repeat what they found to be a difficult experience. Instead, we provide valuable support during the current ‘cost-of-living crisis.’ Household finances will be particularly strained now and over the next few years and increasing levels of poverty will put a spotlight on financial survival.
In Blackburn with Darwen we provide support for the local community to engage and improve their numeracy skills through informal gatherings of the learners, who engage in everyday conversations that are then linked to numeracy/numbers such as:
- Cooking/baking through measuring/weighing ingredients
- Shopping through activities like working out percentage savings or overall cost of shipping
- Household bills through budgeting their finances
We will also use examples and spreadsheet/Excel templates to show how domestic budgets can be analysed and planned; how to quantify outgoings and identify unnecessary or excessive expense. We will encourage learners to use the same template at home; comparing it with bank statements to see where money is going and how it might be better spent. This will simultaneously help to develop greater familiarity with numeracy/maths and help make people better able to cope with fast-rising living costs.
Improved numeracy matters to businesses across the country. Businesses that develop their employees’ numeracy skills can boost productivity, capacity, increase profits and improve employee retention. Many employers tell us their teams would benefit from greater understanding of spreadsheets / MS Excel. Many staff teams use it already, but not efficiently. Better understanding yields real-time savings.
We help staff to understand and apply mathematics in a less overtly ‘academic’ context; it is used in specific business environments where there is clear application and relevance to daily tasks. In the face of rising living costs, managing household budgets is paramount. Many employees may be struggling with these rising costs in the months or years ahead, so these skills can be taught through exercises on spreadsheets / MS Excel. There will therefore be practical benefits outside of the workplace, in addition to employees learning valuable mathematic functions.
In West Yorkshire we are supporting businesses and employees to improve their numeracy. These are designed and delivered together with employers, including courses designed to cover specific numeracy skills required in the workplace.
Employers will benefit from increasing staff skills and the reputation of supporting their team through challenging economic times. Improvements to numeracy skills are not just about performance in the workplace but also confer benefits in terms of personal development, e.g. money management, helping children with school work.
All learning is funded and delivery can be face to face or remote/online through Teams.