£220,000 funding for free adult maths training in North Yorkshire

1 March 2023

Yorkshire-based not-for-profit organisation, Better Connect, has launched a free training programme for working-age adults in the York and North Yorkshire regions. The programme is set to help individuals improve their career prospects and overcome struggles they may face in their personal lives, due to lacking functional maths qualifications and skills. Something which is affecting a huge percentage of adults in the region.

The training programmes will be delivered online and in-person to offer support to adults in local communities across North Yorkshire including York, Harrogate, Scarborough, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Craven, Hambleton, Selby and more. The aim is to help adults fill in their numeracy skills gaps and allow those without a maths GCSE at grade C or equivalent to gain qualifications – to help adults in the local community excel in their personal and professional lives.

Adults from all walks of life are welcome to access the support – as the maths skills crisis is a widespread problem, with many people having progressed into adulthood and even high-flying careers with a phobia of maths or only a loose grasp of functional maths skills.

The 3-year, £3.4m Multiply programme in North Yorkshire, funded by the Department for Education, North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council, is part of the Government initiative to address the UK numeracy crisis. Better Connect has secured £220,000 to help facilitate the delivery of the first year of the programme in North Yorkshire, with their specialist partners.

Sharing the importance of the programme and how it can help people in their everyday lives, CEO of Better Connect, Natasha Babar-Evans commented:

We want to encourage all adults in the region who don’t have entry-level maths qualifications, or who struggle with or have a fear of maths, to get involved in Multiply. To develop their skills and confidence.

Maths is a part of everyday life and having a fear of maths or lacking functional maths skills can make people’s lives difficult.

We hope that through delivering the Multiply programme, with the support of our specialist partners, we can help adults of all ages in the local region in various different ways such as: helping to unlock job opportunities, leading to higher wages, helping people with maths related skills specific to their line of work, helping self-employed people develop tax and accounting capabilities and preparing individuals for going on to further studies.

Our programme is aimed at also helping individuals with everyday personal tasks such as budgeting money, and improving their understanding of things like energy costs, bills, pensions, mortgages and debts, to being able to better understand stats and facts in the media or helping children with homework.

Highlighting how lack of advanced maths skills isn’t always a barrier to achieving a successful career but can still negatively impact your everyday life, North Yorkshire Solicitor and Judge, Simon Ward commented:

I left school in 1989 with what would be fair to call a scraped Grade C GCSE in Maths. Maths was always a real struggle for me at school.

Despite the fact that my maths is pretty awful, I’ve been able to go on to be a solicitor and then a judge last year. Yet, if I am given a calculation to do in my head unless it was very round numbers, I’d probably really struggle.


CEO of Better Connect, Natasha Babar-Evans added:

In addition to our work with individuals on the programme, we are working with employers too because businesses benefit from developing their employees’ numeracy skills. We are also holding various events for both employers and unemployed individuals, to raise awareness of the importance of developing numeracy skills and to provide candidates with the opportunity to meet with employers.

To learn more about the Multiply programme and how to get involved and to find out how to access the support available, visit Better Connect’s website.


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