A three-year programme which will help adults in Leicestershire to improve their numeracy skills and enable businesses to upskill their workforces has secured £3 million in government funding.
Multiply is a £559 million national programme through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which is designed to help spread opportunity and level up the country.
Earlier this year, Leicestershire County Council submitted a plan to the Department for Education for a £3 million slice of the UKSPF to allow it to deliver the national Multiply programme locally.
This means the council will now be able to deliver hundreds of free courses, wrap-around support and workshops, over the next three years. They will be available to adults who do not already have a GCSE grade C/4 or higher in maths or equivalent and need to improve their numeracy skills.
Numeracy is a vital skill that has so many practical applications in everyday life, and boosting those numeracy skills improves lives.
The £3m funding we have received from the government will allow us to roll out this important project, which will help to support people, communities and businesses. It will enable us to offer many more opportunities to level up the county.Person:Councillor Christine Radford, cabinet member for adults and communities
Multiply will be led by the county council’s Adult Learning Service, working with partners including further education colleges and training providers, charitable and voluntary groups, and employers to deliver free numeracy courses and programmes throughout the county, to help people improve their numeracy skills.
Employers who could benefit from boosting their workforce’s skills will be able to work with the council and training providers to deliver bespoke courses that integrate numeracy and vocational elements, tailored to the needs of their workforce.
The Multiply programme aims to level up opportunities for more people by increasing their confidence with numbers, giving them the tools they need to improve their job prospects and life chances. It also aims to improve the financial well-being of individuals and families by supporting them in managing money, becoming financially self-sufficient and ensuring parents support their children with numeracy-based homework.
Multiply courses will be available across Leicestershire in person or online, at work or at home, either on a part-time or intensive basis.
Anyone aged 19 or over who fits the criteria will be eligible for the free courses - but there will be a particular focus on supporting hard-to-reach learners and those who may not traditionally engage with adult learning courses.
Education, skills and training deprivation has been highlighted as a key issue within Leicestershire, with low numeracy skills acting as a barrier to employment for a large number of residents, particularly in the County’s largest employment sectors - manufacturing, technical and retail.
More information on the national Multiply programme is available on the government's Skill for Life website.