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National Numeracy hosts work, numeracy and social mobility webinar
On 27 September, The Lord Mayor's Appeal charity partner National Numeracy hosted a webinar ‘Work, Numeracy and Social Mobility’ to coincide with a new research briefing exploring the connection between work, number confidence and social mobility.
A panel including Andy Haldane, Chief Executive, RSA; Chair, National Numeracy Leadership Council; Vice-chair, National Numeracy and Sandra Wallace, Former Social Mobility Commissioner; Joint Managing Director, UK and Europe, DLA Piper; Trustee, National Numeracy discussed the report’s findings, looked in detail at the data, answered questions from participants, and suggested what could be done to address the issues raised.
Andy Haldane, Chief Executive, RSA; Chair, National Numeracy Leadership Council; Vice-chair, National Numeracy, said:
“If we’re going to do something to turn the dial on number confidence, starting in the earliest of years, but then continuing over the life course, that is going to show up as a massive dividend for individuals in terms of work opportunities and income prospects.”
Sandra Wallace, Former Social Mobility Commissioner; Joint Managing Director, UK and Europe, DLA Piper; Trustee, National Numeracy, said:
“You find when you look at research like this that you’re seeing one in four adults saying that applying for a job where numeracy or data are listed as criteria is putting them off applying. That has a real impact, not only from a very early age but on our economy, our employment and our skills base.”
Adressing low numeracy which affects around half the UK’s working age population, resulting in economic consequences for individuals and the economy, National Numeracy's new recent briefing shows that individuals with both low, or no, maths qualifications and low maths confidence have observed greater effects from a lack of a Level 2 maths on their earnings, career progression, career choices, job hunting and job performance than their more ‘maths confident’ counterparts.
Number confidence, along with skill, needs to be addressed if we are to improve people’s confidence in applying for jobs and also their progression prospects whilst in those roles. National Numeracy actively supports people to improve their number confidence and skills, including through the National Numeracy Challenge online tool. In 2022, over 1,000 users of this tool were surveyed as part of our Number Confidence and Social Mobility research report, which was published in April 2023 and supported by National Numeracy partner Capital One.
This new briefing paper focuses on insights from the report about the role number confidence plays in getting into work and on at work, and resultant implications for supporting social mobility. It also offers recommendations such as employers acknowledging the crucial role numeracy plays in being successful in any job and policymakers ensuring that all young people leave education with the number confidence to secure employment, continue to develop their skills and build sustainable careers.
Find more information on National Numeracy here