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Multiply: Adult Maths and Numeracy Skills Boost for Dorset

Adults across Dorset who want to improve their numeracy skills can sign up for free courses and activities thanks to an £3.3 million investment aimed at boosting opportunities for more people to progress and secure well paid jobs.

The free courses and initiatives include ‘first steps’ numeracy, money management and upskilling for jobs and careers as well as intensive and flexible qualification courses and provision developed collaboratively with employers and community groups. They are available to local residents – included particular groups such as parents, prisoners and care leavers – on either a part time or intensive basis and will be offered in flexible settings.  For more information please visit:

People who improve their numeracy skills are more likely to be in employment, have higher wages, and better wellbeing. Around 17 million adults in England don’t have Level 2 maths; poor numeracy skills or simply not having the right qualifications can hold people back from having the confidence to get on in life and into work.

Skills & Learning Adult Community Education has been awarded the cash boost from the government’s £2.6 billion UK Shared Prosperity Fund so they can offer tailored courses that meet the needs of the local community as part of the rollout of the government’s flagship Multiply programme. 

Multiply will offer adults who do not already have a GCSE grade C/4 or higher in Maths or equivalent, and need to improve their numeracy, free flexible courses that fit around their lives.

Lesley Spain, Principal Learning Manager at Skills & Learning Adult Community Education, said:

Skills and Learning is reaching out to local people who want to be more confident with maths/numeracy, whether it’s to help them manage their finances, help their children with homework or improve their job prospects.  We are pleased to be able to offer a wide range of free Multiply courses with our partners at times and places that will suit most people.  

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, said:

“We are pleased to see the Government working closely with councils and devolved authorities to get the Multiply programme up and running at speed, as they know how best to deliver this much-needed investment and tailor it to local need.

“They are trusted leaders of place with first-hand experience of delivering adult and community learning, as well as other council services which residents rely on, with the broadest reach into the voluntary, community and training sectors, housing associations and local employers. Local government is best placed to engage residents who would benefit from increasing their numeracy skills to get on in life and work.”

Businesses that develop their employees’ numeracy skills can also boost productivity, increase profits and improve employee retention. 

Local employers will also benefit from the scheme, with courses and activities tailored to a particular area or jobs at no cost to them offered to their employees to help boost their numeracy skills.

Research also shows that sectors with a high proportion of workers with basic or advanced numeracy skills have experienced the most rapid growth in employment over the last decade.

To get involved in delivering or supporting delivery of Multiply, please contact us.

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