Multiply Your Opportunities:  
Free Numeracy Courses to Improve Lives for Adults in Coventry

Coventry residents have an exciting opportunity to improve their basic maths skills and transform their future prospects. Coventry Adult Education Service (CAES) have launched Multiply.

This is a new programme offering free numeracy courses to adults aged 19 and over. 

The aim of this programme is to equip people with basic math skills that may pave the way for better job prospects, higher wages, or further study. The programme is particularly geared towards individuals who do not possess a maths qualification at Level 2 (GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent). 

According to Michael Robinson-Hart, programme manager for Multiply at CAES: 

"Good numeracy skills can be beneficial in everyday life, such as assisting children with their homework or managing finances. These skills are also in demand in many industries and can improve employment prospects, leading to higher wages and better wellbeing. Gaining a maths qualification at Level 2 unlocks the door to progress to higher levels of free training to secure a skilled job." 

To fund the initiative, the West Midlands Combined Authority has been awarded £16.7 million from the Department for Education's Multiply investment programme. This investment will be used to develop a variety of new courses and initiatives in partnership with local authorities, colleges, training providers, universities, and employers.  

A study shows that half of the working-age population in England have everyday maths ability roughly equivalent to those expected of a primary school child. The Multiply programme aims to help people understand and use maths better to improve household finances, support problem-solving, help children with homework, make more sense of the statistics in the media, or improve numeracy skills for their job. 

In Coventry, the programme will target individuals who are already in work on lower wages, offering support through face-to-face and online sessions, personal tuition, intensive seminars, and evening and weekend courses to fit around existing work commitments. The programme will cover a range of topics including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, using percentages, estimating, reading timetables, using clocks, and understanding measurements. 

Michael Robinson-Hart stated that:

“Improved numeracy also matters to businesses right across the country – small and big. Businesses that develop their employees’ numeracy skills can boost productivity, increase profits, and improve employee retention.”  

Coventry City Council is encouraging any organisation that could support the scheme or would like to encourage people to take part, from community groups and voluntary organisations to private firms, to get in touch.  

If you're interested in this incredible opportunity, please register your interest and find out more by emailing makemathsworkforyou@coventry.gov.uk  or you can contact Michael by emailing michael.robinson-hart@coventry.gov.uk 

Published: Thursday, 25th May 2023