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Preston residents to benefit as government plans £5.9m adult numeracy scheme

Posted on - 13th June, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Education, Politics, Preston News
County Councillor Jayne Rear

A new £5.9m scheme to boost adult numeracy skills in Lancashire will move forward this autumn.

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The government’s flagship Multiply programme will be delivered through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, replacing the European Structural and Investment Fund programme, with Lancashire County Council’s cabinet agreeing on the next steps.

The programme is targeted at adults aged 19+ who do not have a GSCE at Grade 4 (or equivalent).

It aims to help people improve their ability to understand and use maths in daily life, from improving household finances to helping children with homework and improving employability/job prospects.

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County councillor Jayne Rear, the cabinet member for education and skills, said: “The Multiply programme aims to help people progress professionally, find new opportunities and feel less daunted when working with numbers.

“Numeracy does not come easily to everyone, but it is a skill that can really open doors for people both professionally and personally.

“I am looking forward to this service later this year and hope that those who sign up for it will go on to reach their full potential.”

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Locally devolved funds will be complemented by a digital online learning platform developed by the Department for Education.

A funding formula will allocate funds to local areas, with Lancashire earmarked for £5.9m.

Local authorities must develop and submit investment plans to the Department for Education by 30 June 2022 to enable delivery in September 2022.

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Investment plans will be reviewed by the government and must pay regard to and coordinate where possible, with skills and employment interventions in local areas to avoid duplication.

The government expects local areas to improve adult functional numeracy levels locally in return for funding.

In the medium to longer-term, the ambition is to view the Multiply programme as part of Lancashire’s ambition to secure devolution through a county deal and a new governance model.

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It also aligns with the government’s push to devolve funds to local areas to drive ‘Levelling Up’ across various priorities, including skills and employment.

At its meeting on Thursday, 9 June, the cabinet is to approve two recommendations that will progress the delivery of the Multiply programme in Lancashire.

For more information about Multiply, email: multiply@lancashire.gov.uk

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