Work and Skills Multiply

New scheme launched to help adults in Greater Manchester boost their numeracy skills

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is launching a new and innovative £14m scheme to support adults in the city-region with learning essential numeracy skills.

Multiply will focus on relevant numeracy skills that residents want and need to know to help them get on in life and achieve their goals. This support can help people secure a qualification valued by employers to boost career opportunities and on a pathway to further education opportunities.

It will help residents with everything from day-to-day budgeting to shopping and cooking. For businesses, the course can develop their employees’ numeracy skills, leading to a boost in productivity, an increase in profits, and improved employee retention.

The scheme is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and managed by the Department of Education, to help adults aged 19 and over without their GCSE Maths or equivalent. Adults across the city region who want to improve their maths/numeracy skills to increase their confidence with numbers and to boost career prospects will be able to sign up for these free flexible courses.

The scheme is designed to be accessible and flexible, so will include both face-to-face and online support designed to fit around people’s family, lifestyle and work commitments.

The scheme is already having a positive impact on Greater Manchester residents, including Akrar Shah, 41, after taking part in a pilot session, he said: “I was surprised by the format of the class. I thought it was going to be one of these boring lectures, but it was fun and engaging.

“I learned a lot from the course and will recommend it to my friends and family. The fact that it is free and accessible to anyone is great, and there are a lot of apps and websites available for free to help you get the numbers right.”

Arfan, 43, found the course very useful because it helped her to shop and cook on a tight budget. She said, “The messaging was clear, the language was simple and easy to understand. We shared tips and ideas and didn’t just learn from tutors but each other. This course is for everyone!

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester’s lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital, said: “Here in Greater Manchester, we are excited to launch the Multiply scheme. We want to help residents manage money better, progress into further learning, and get into good jobs. And we want businesses to take advantage of the programme to upskill their staff, boost productivity, and lead to more people working and living in Greater Manchester.”

The Growth Company have been commissioned by GMCA to deliver Multiply training in partnership with 12 supply chain partners across the city-region. Following the successful pilot, the Growth Company are now running a range of courses including Building Numeracy Confidence, Healthy/Independent Living, Reducing the Cost of Living and Numeracy for Employment.

Joanne Roney OBE, Greater Manchester's Chief Executive lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital, Chief Executive at Manchester City Council, said: “I am thrilled to see the launch of the Multiply programme. 

"With Multiply, individuals will have access to personalised learning plans and a wide range of training options that will allow them to grow and thrive in their careers and everyday lives. I am proud that Greater Manchester is taking a leading role in supporting the development of our workforce, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact that Multiply will have on the lives of our residents."

Michelle Handley, Multiply Curriculum Manager at Growth Company Education and Skills, said:Numeracy skills are essential for daily life, from budgeting your weekly shop to helping your children or grandchildren with their homework. But too many people have been let down by their past learning and need that extra help to boost their confidence again.  

“That’s why we are really proud to be delivering Multiply training across Greater Manchester with GMCA. Learners can learn the way they need, and access as many of the courses as they’d like. It’s a unique offering that will undoubtably help lots of people.” 

Alongside training delivered by The Growth Company, Greater Manchester residents enrolled on Level 2 Maths via the Adult Education Budget can access extra support to achieve their qualification through Multiply. There are 13 colleges and local authority providers offering this additional support this academic year, helping 1,200 learners to achieve.

Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN) have also been commissioned by GMCA to support the Further Education sector with capacity building. The additional support will help FE providers deliver maths.

Daniel Shercliff, senior manager at Manchester Adult Education Service (MAES), said:

Numeracy doesn't come easily to everyone. However, it is a crucial skill that can open up personal and professional opportunities.

“At MAES, we are committed to delivering innovative and enhanced training for our learners who are studying Level 2 Functional Skills and GCSE. These qualifications provide individuals with access to higher education and advancement in the workplace. Whether they choose one-on-one training or intensive 'maths camps,' Multiply offers something for everyone to unlock their potential."

Anne Gornall, executive director at Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN), said: “We’re really excited to have been commissioned as part of the GM Multiply Programme to support the broad FE Sector that can deliver maths. Providers will be able to access free CPD activities to upskill, build capacity and confidence to deliver maths programmes and courses.

“We believe the capacity building underpins the whole Multiply programme. Having competent and confident maths tutors, teachers, support staff and champions that are confident and capable is vital for innovative delivery of the Multiply Programme in Greater Manchester and for a legacy of increased capacity to deliver maths in the future.”

For more information about Multiply and the training opportunities available, head to our: Multiply - Greater Manchester Combined Authority (

Article Published: 15/05/2023 11:55 AM