Numeracy is important to all of us, because it really does affect our lives on an everyday basis. So why is it that around half of the working age population in the UK have the numeracy skills of primary school children? And why are so many of us lacking confidence in our numeracy skills?
The UK’s first ever National Numeracy Day is set to take place tomorrow, Wednesday 16th May. Supported by Countdown’s Rachel Riley, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis and Chief Economist at the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, the campaign is an annual celebration of the importance of numeracy in every day life.
The key message behind the campaign is that we are all numbers people – we just need to work on our skills.
And a lack of numeracy skills can affect an individual’s life in so many ways. Those with poor numeracy skills are twice as likely to be unemployed. And it’s estimated that the lack of sufficient numeracy skills could be costing individuals up to £460 per year.
It may also mean that these individuals are less adept at managing money and so at greater risk of falling into debt. And research has also shown that there could be a link between poor numeracy skills and debt.
Our lack of sufficient numeracy skills as a nation could also be impacting on the economy. It’s estimated to cost UK employers around £3.2bn each year, and the UK economy as a whole £20.2bn each year. And if the issue isn’t addressed soon, it could even lead to the UK becoming less competitive – which could be a serious problem in the post-Brexit world.
So, National Numeracy Day offers the opportunity not only to examine our own numeracy skills, and challenge ourselves to improve them, but also to encourage the younger generation to embrace numeracy and understand its importance.
For further information on what you can do to spread the message, please visit the National Numeracy Day website.
And please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like any information or advice on arranging a school maths trip that gives your pupils the opportunity to understand the importance of maths in the real world.