Being bad at maths could cost the UK £20 billion a year - Willott

March 12, 2014 3:36 PM


New research by economists from Pro Bono Economics estimates that low levels of adult numeracy cost the UK around £20.2 billion per year, or about 1.3 per cent of the UK's GDP. Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central, has welcomed today's launch of the National Numeracy Challenge, which aims to help millions of people improve their everyday maths skills.

In England and Wales, almost half the adult population only have the numeracy levels expected of primary school children. The National Numeracy Challenge will encourage everyone to check their own level of numeracy, using a web-based self-assessment tool, the Challenge Online, Those who need help will then be lead towards a programme of personal learning, with an initial target to raise at least one million people out of poor numeracy over the next five years.

Commenting, Jenny Willott said:

"Whether it's running your own business, doing the family shop, understanding statistics in the media, or helping the kids with their homework, maths skills are a critical part of everyday life. And in an increasingly global economy, basic numeracy levels are fundamental to ensuring we can compete. The National Numeracy Challenge is a fantastic tool to help anyone whose maths is a little shaky to easily get the support they need."

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