As numbers people, we know that numeracy is one of life’s crucial building blocks.
However, poor numeracy is a serious problem in the UK. Half of the adult population only have the skills expected of an 11 year old, which affects their life chances – impacting how much they earn, how they manage their money, and even their health. It’s a barrier to social mobility and negatively affects the life chances of the most disadvantaged. People with poor levels of numeracy are more than twice as likely to be unemployed.
To respond to this social mobility challenge, we launched ‘Everybody Counts’ in 2018, as part of our A Voice for All strategy. Working with partners across our global markets, we aim to engage 1 million people to improve their numeracy skills and build their confidence with numbers. We will do this through supporting direct outreach programmes to those struggling with day-to-day numeracy and raising the profile of the challenge with the public and key stakeholders.
Everybody Counts is a global campaign and we will be announcing future partnerships as we continue to raise awareness of this crucial issue.
Supporting National Numeracy Day
On the first-ever National Numeracy Day in 2018, we announced a strategic partnership with UK charity National Numeracy which aims to challenge negative attitudes towards maths and promote effective approaches to improving functional numeracy skills. We are now helping them scale up their activities and empower 250,000 people across the UK to start improving their number skills by the end of 2021.
In 2019, we will again be supporting National Numeracy Day on 15 May, Numeracy is an essential skill for all of our employees and we are delighted to be supporting National Numeracy Day for a second year. Low levels of numeracy are linked to unemployment, low wages and even poor health. It is not just an issue for individuals – poor numeracy costs the UK economy an estimated £20 billion a year. We are working to improve numeracy skills across the UK and urge others to join us in helping to change millions of lives for the better.
To test your own maths skills you can take National Numeracy’s Challenge here. We also encourage you to invite friends and family to try out the challenge and share the link on social media channels to help raise the profile of this important issue.