“People with poor numeracy skills are more than twice as likely to be unemployed”
Innumeracy costs the UK £20.2 Billion per year; 17 million adults (nearly half of the adult population) have numeracy at/below primary school level.
There is substantial evidence that low numeracy skills are associated with poor outcomes:
People with poor numeracy skills are more than twice as likely to be unemployed
Recent data by the OECD show a direct relationship between wage distribution and numeracy skills
In OECD and UK basic skills reports, the correlation between poor numeracy and poor health is clear; data from the British Cohort Studies have shown that there is also a link between depression and poor numeracy
- Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
Children with these problems are more likely to struggle with numeracy, even taking into account factors such as home background and general ability
- School exclusions
Pupils beginning secondary school with very low numeracy skills but good literacy skills have an exclusion rate twice that of pupils starting secondary school with good numeracy skills
14-year-olds who have poor maths skills at 11 are more than twice as likely to play truant
A quarter of young people in custody have a numeracy level below that expected of a 7-year-old, and 65% of adult prisoners have numeracy skills at or below the level expected of an 11-year-old.
Poor numeracy is also a problem in its own right. It can affect people’s confidence and self-esteem. Research from a review of adult up-skilling in numeracy by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has demonstrated that improving numeracy directly contributes to growth in personal and social confidence
The digital age
The digital age presents us with more numerical data than ever before and puts a new premium on numeracy skills.
Computers can do the mathematical processing for us, but we need good numeracy in order to use them effectively – to enter the right data and decide whether the answer seems approximately right.
Right now around 90% of new graduate jobs require a high level of digital skills (Race Online 2012), and digital skills are built on numeracy.
(Article source: National Numeracy)
“Good numeracy is the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor health.” (OECD)