By Ben Simmons

A campaign launched last week to boost numeracy skills among UK adults have been welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry.

Research conducted by the charity suggested that half of the UK population would struggle to complete mathematical problems intended for 11 year olds, illustrating the extent of the skills shortage. Separate figures from the CBI suggest that 20% of worlplaces have had to expend time and effort building basic numeracy skills to school leavers, at a colossal cost to industry.

“Businesses welcome this campaign which highlights the urgent need to improve numeracy skills in the UK,” said Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment & Skills policy.

“Most jobs require people to be able to use practical maths effectively. Being able to work out simple percentages, to add and subtract, are essential skills for everyday life.

“The Government is right to ensure that anyone who does not get a C grade at GCSE has to continue with Maths after 16, but we also need more focus on numeracy teaching in the early years so that children do not fall behind. All students should be encouraged to carry on with some form of Maths until 18.”

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