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Work and Skills

“I felt able to speak up when I did not understand, which isn’t something I could do in school.”

Supporting Greater Manchester’s residents with numeracy and maths skills

A programme aimed at increasing the number of Greater Manchester adults gaining numeracy qualifications has helped a man to overcome a phobia of maths.

Levi, aged 60 from South Manchester, struggled with memory difficulties in school, which led to a negative learning experience and a phobia of the subject.

After engaging with his local job centre for employment support, Levi agreed to be referred to Manchester Adult Education Service (MAES), part of Manchester City Council, which supports residents to learn new skills and give them the confidence to complete various qualifications, such as a Level 2 in maths.

Speaking about his experience, Levi said: “My worry about maths was gradually eased by the course tutor and the one-to-one lessons I accessed. I enjoyed coming to my classes as the teacher was also very patient, kind and helpful.

“Support was put in place so I felt able to speak up when I did not understand, which isn’t something I could do in school.”

Earlier this year, training providers like MAES, which are delivering Level 2 maths qualifications through Greater Manchester’s devolved Adult Education Budget (AEB), were bolstered by ‘Enhanced Level 2 Support’ funding, which forms part of Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) £14m Multiply programme.

GMCA manages the city-region’s Multiply pot, which is funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and is dedicated to providing learning opportunities to support local residents aged 19+ who do not have a Level 2 Maths qualification to increase their confidence with numbers and support them onto higher skills.

The Enhanced Level 2 Support allows providers to offer additional resources such as extra tuition time, individual support sessions, alternative exam venues and bespoke help for exam anxiety and stress.

Levi added: “As part of the course, I was shown how to make a maths ‘memory book’, which helped me with revision. It was fantastic because I have all the key information and formulae noted down in one place.”

The Multiply boost led to positive outcomes for learners like Levi, which led to GMCA recommissioning the opportunity to continue delivering this boosted support for the 2023/24 academic year.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester’s Lead for Technical Education and Skills said: “Little confidence in numeracy skills can prevent people from progressing and achieving their personal or professional goals.

“Nationally, we know that achievement of Level 2 maths is lower than other qualifications and a key aim of Multiply is to boost this attainment.

“We already have a robust learning offer in Greater Manchester through our devolved adult education budget, so we made the decision to ring-fence some of our Multiply funding to boost existing provision, going above and beyond what AEB already funds to ensure a responsive, wraparound offer for our residents.

“It’s great news that this approach has been successful and that we’re in a position to extend it, ensuring even more local people can benefit.”

Greater Manchester’s Multiply programme also offers brand new learning opportunities delivered by The Growth Company, focusing on homework help and personal budgeting, providing people with the necessary skills to get on in work and life.

GMCA has also awarded Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN) Multiply funding to deliver training to those who teach maths to brush up their techniques and ensure up-to-date, quality delivery.

Specific Multiply opportunities for care leavers, ex-offenders and employers are also being implemented and will be live in 2024.

Joanne Roney, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council said: “In Greater Manchester, we’re committed to unlocking residents’ potential through quality learning opportunities that can support people in a multitude of ways such as improved workplace performance or personal development.

“The Multiply programme is a great example of that support and we’re really pleased that the Enhanced Level 2 offer has been so well received. We look forward to more residents like Levi gaining new confidence and reframing their attitudes towards maths and adult learning.”

Find out more about our Multiply offer.

Article Published: 05/12/2023 09:56 AM