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From Money Matters to Gardening: a range of Multiply numeracy courses now on offer across Wiltshire

People looking for help with their budgeting, spreadsheets or basic maths skills can benefit from the latest free courses being offered as part of the Multiply programme.

Published 14 March 2023
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People looking for help with their budgeting, spreadsheets or basic maths skills can benefit from the latest free courses being offered as part of the Multiply programme.

Wiltshire Council was awarded £2.1 million of funding from the government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund to offer tailored courses targeted at adults (over 19 years of age) who do not currently have Level 2/GCSE maths at grade 4 (previously known as a C grade). The funding has been allocated over a three-year period (22/23 - 24/25).

Officers from the council's Targeted Education Team have worked with local organisations and businesses to develop a range of courses, which include:

  • Wiltshire College running Basic Maths Courses in a number of locations across Wiltshire
  • Wiltshire Citizens Advice providing support with money and budgeting to assist with the current cost of living crisis
  • Skills Ladder offering spreadsheet courses for all levels from beginners looking to learn how to create simple calculations to an advanced user looking to expand their knowledge
  • Madanu has scheduled courses to offer adults an introduction to maths in an accessible way through hobbies such as gardening and cooking

Staff across the council, as well as local businesses and organisations are also being trained as Numeracy Champions, to build their own confidence in numeracy and support others to develop their skills. This initiative by National Numeracy aims to break down some of the anxiety surrounding maths and encourage everyone to have a go.

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said: Talking about maths and numeracy skills does not mean struggling with trigonometry or algebra. It's about having a lack of confidence with numbers which can have an impact on all of our daily lives - whether it's budgeting whilst shopping or cooking a meal. Being anxious about using numbers can also hold people back and prevent people progressing at work or accessing social situations.

Our officers are working with organisations such as Wiltshire Citizens Advice and Skills Ladder, and we now have a wide range of varied courses on offer across the county to empower adults to improve their confidence and competence with numbers, whether this is for work, managing budgets at home or supporting their children with their homework.

In addition to the Multiply courses, staff across the council, as well as local businesses and organisations are also being trained as Numeracy Champions, to build their own confidence in numeracy and support others to develop their skills. This is part of an initiative by National Numeracy Trust aiming to break down some of the anxiety surrounding maths and encourage everyone to have a go.

As per our business plan, we are using the funding to remove barriers and support residents to improve their confidence, knowledge and skills by using Multiply courses.

Louise, a Numeracy Champion at Wiltshire Council, said, The Numeracy Champion training helped me to better understand the anxieties that many people feel around maths and why they have them. It has also given me the tools to support them to overcome these anxieties and gain confidence to develop their maths skills to benefit themselves both at home and in the workplace.

People can find out about the latest courses on offer by going to Multiply - Work Wiltshire (opens new window). People can also 'subscribe to calendar' to add all of the available courses to their own personal calendar. With more courses and activities being added to the programme, once subscribed, notifications will be sent to the user when new courses appear.

Libraries across Wiltshire have a wide range of maths themed books, eBooks and audiobooks. These cover a range of topics such as money matters, help with sums and maths for beginners, as well as books for children to develop their own maths skills.

Further information on the Multiply scheme, the course providers and courses offered is found https//workwiltshire.co.uk/multiply (opens new window).

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