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Mar 2024 / Blog

Today marks International Day of Mathematics or Pi Day, celebrated each year on March 14 due to the date’s resemblance to the value of pi (3.14). 

This year’s theme is ‘playing with maths’, highlighting the broad spectrum of situations that maths can be applied within. 

It’s no secret that good numeracy skills are vital for everyday life – both at home and at work. They can unlock job opportunities, ensure good household budgeting and allow parents to help their children with their homework.   

But, in a recent report, the state of the UK’s numeracy skills has been described as an endemic and this is only emphasised in a national survey that suggested 32 per cent of people in Wales have poor numeracy skills. However, on average, more than half of these are at a level where they could easily make improvements given the right support. 

Poor numeracy skills are rarely down to a person’s ability and there are many factors that can contribute to someone believing they are ‘bad’ at maths. These could range from negative early experiences when learning the subject at school to suffering from a lack of confidence or maths anxiety. 

If you’re looking to hone your maths skills, a lack of formal qualification shouldn’t stop you. Multiply is a government-funded programme helping boost numeracy in the community. It is open to anyone without a GCSE at level C or above (or equivalent), and there is an array of courses available depending on how you most commonly apply maths. 

For example, Multiply offers the Money Matters course focusing on financial literacy. It covers various aspects of personal finance, including budgeting, saving and borrowing. There is also the Excel course which focuses on how to use functions in Microsoft Excel. This includes data entry, sorting and filtering cells and creating formula. 

Wales’ leading training provider, ACT, is currently delivering the Multiply programme to people living or working in Rhondda Cynon Taf, the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff. 

Lisa Rodrigues, Head of Learning for Work at ACT, said: “A basic understanding of numbers is incredibly important. It affects daily life, from cooking to budgeting. 

“It can also help when it comes to providing professional opportunities. Solid numeracy can be just the thing to boost your confidence and get you ahead both in your career and beyond.” 

If you’d like to find out how Multiply can help you boost your numeracy skills you can head to our Multiply page or get in touch today.