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Multiply is a new scheme launched to help adults in Greater Manchester boost their numeracy skills

16 May 2023

We are delighted to be working with Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to launch a new and innovative £14m scheme to support adults in the city-region with learning essential numeracy skills.

Multiply will focus on relevant numeracy skills that residents want and need to know to help them get on in life and achieve their goals. This support can help people secure a qualification valued by employers to boost career opportunities and on a pathway to further education opportunities.

It will help residents with everything from day-to-day budgeting to shopping and cooking. For businesses, the course can develop their employees’ numeracy skills, leading to a boost in productivity, an increase in profits, and improved employee retention.

The scheme is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and managed by the Department of Education, to help adults aged 19+ without their GCSE Maths or equivalent. Adults across the city region who want to improve their maths/numeracy skills to increase their confidence with numbers and to boost career prospects will be able to sign up for these free flexible courses.

The scheme is designed to be accessible and flexible, so will include both face-to-face and online support designed to fit around people’s family, lifestyle and work commitments.

The scheme is already having a positive impact on Greater Manchester residents, including Akrar Shah, 41, after taking part in a pilot session, he said: “I was surprised by the format of the class. I thought it was going to be one of these boring lectures, but it was fun and engaging.

“I learned a lot from the course and will recommend it to my friends and family. The fact that it is free and accessible to anyone is great, and there are a lot of apps and websites available for free to help you get the numbers right.”

Arfan, 43, found the course very useful because it helped her to shop and cook on a tight budget. She said, “The messaging was clear, the language was simple and easy to understand. We shared tips and ideas and didn’t just learn from tutors but each other. This course is for everyone!

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester’s lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital, said: “Here in Greater Manchester, we are excited to launch the Multiply scheme. We want to help residents manage money better, progress into further learning, and get into good jobs. And we want businesses to take advantage of the programme to upskill their staff, boost productivity, and lead to more people working and living in Greater Manchester.”

The Growth Company have been commissioned by GMCA to deliver Multiply training in partnership with 12 supply chain partners across the city-region. Following the successful pilot, we are now running a range of courses including Building Numeracy Confidence, Healthy/Independent Living, Reducing the Cost of Living and Numeracy for Employment.

Joanne Roney OBE, Greater Manchester's Chief Executive lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital, Chief Executive at Manchester City Council, said: “I am thrilled to see the launch of the Multiply programme.

"With Multiply, individuals will have access to personalised learning plans and a wide range of training options that will allow them to grow and thrive in their careers and everyday lives. I am proud that Greater Manchester is taking a leading role in supporting the development of our workforce, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact that Multiply will have on the lives of our residents."

Michelle Handley, Multiply Curriculum Manager at Growth Company Education and Skills, said:Numeracy skills are essential for daily life, from budgeting your weekly shop to helping your children or grandchildren with their homework. But too many people have been let down by their past learning and need that extra help to boost their confidence again.

“That’s why we are really proud to be delivering Multiply training across Greater Manchester with GMCA. Learners can learn the way they need, and access as many of the courses as they’d like. It’s a unique offering that will undoubtably help lots of people.”

For more information about Multiply and the training opportunities available, click here.