Businesses called on to support National Numeracy Day | KPMG | UK

UK businesses called on to support first ever National Numeracy Day on 16 May

Businesses called on to support National Numeracy Day

Urgent action required to address poor numeracy levels amongst working age adults and the associated annual cost to employers

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Urgent action required to address poor numeracy levels amongst working age adults and the associated £3.2bn1 annual cost to employers

  • At least 18.5m2 working age adults have ‘poor or low’ numeracy levels
  • Poor numeracy costs the UK economy up to £20.2billion3 a year
  • First National Numeracy Day offers unique opportunity for UK businesses to come together to celebrate and champion the importance of numeracy

KPMG and National Numeracy today announced that the UK’s first National Numeracy Day will be taking place on 16 May and urged other businesses to join them in reducing the impact of poor numeracy by helping thousands of people to start their journey towards improved numeracy skills.

Almost one in two working age adults currently lack numeracy skills and this skills gap is estimated to cost businesses £3.2bn annually, with a cost to the UK economy of up to £20.2billion a year.

National Numeracy Day has been created to drive a change in recognition of the importance of numbers for everyone’s lives. Designed to celebrate numbers, it will help individuals to check their numeracy levels, starting with a quick online numeracy quiz, and provide free tools to support improvement amongst those who could benefit.

Melanie Richards, Deputy Chair, KPMG UK and founding business supporter of National Numeracy Day, said: “A highly skilled and numerate workforce is vital to the success of our future economy and improvement of UK productivity. We know that 68%4 of UK employers are concerned about employees’ ability to sense-check numbers and we need to address this. We also know from our work with schools and young people, that levels of numeracy are key barriers to social mobility. With the help of other businesses, we can start to change this.”

National Numeracy Day is being run by UK charity National Numeracy and businesses including Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Experian, Health Education England, NS&I, RBS, the Scottish Government & Education Scotland, Ufi Charitable Trust and Virgin Money have already joined KPMG as official supporters with many more looking to sign-up. The campaign will also receive high profile backing from MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis, TV personality and mathematician Rachel Riley and Chief Economist at the Bank of England, Andy Haldane.

Mike Ellicock, Chief Executive of National Numeracy, said: “Every business in the UK runs on numbers, which is why it’s so fundamental – whatever your business – that employees have the essentials of numeracy. Public attitudes towards maths and numbers are overwhelmingly negative and many people need help to boost confidence in their ability to handle numbers better. Through National Numeracy Day we are aiming to raise awareness of the benefits of improved numeracy levels to employers, individuals and the economy and we hope that businesses will support us in achieving this aim.”

There are a range of ways in which businesses and other organisations can get involved from encouraging employees, suppliers and customers to check their numeracy levels using the full, take the free online numeracy assessment tool, volunteer in the local community and spread the word via social media and other channels. Anyone interested in taking part should visit https://www.numeracyday.com/ to sign up and access the free National Numeracy Day toolkits to get involved.

James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian, said: “We’re delighted to support the first ever National Numeracy Day. It is a worry that, in view of the proven link between numeracy and financial capability, almost half of British adults lack basic skills with numbers. We are keen to help change this by encouraging as many people as possible to use the online numeracy assessment tool. Where necessary, people can then take simple steps to improve their numeracy and, in the process, their financial future.”

The inaugural National Numeracy Day is aiming to help thousands of people to take action to improve their numeracy over the next year. Businesses can still sign up to become an official supporter of National Numeracy Day and help ensure that more people benefit from knowing how to use numbers well. Email enquiries@nationalnumeracy.org.uk to find out how.

                                                                -ENDS -

For further information, images or requests for interview please contact

Carrie Greene or Olivia Howard at Forster Communications

T: +44 (0) 207 403 2230

E: olivia@forster.co.uk

A further sample of numeracy quiz questions are also available on request

Notes to editors

  1. Cost of outcomes associated with low levels of adult numeracy in the UK – Pro Bono Economics report - March 2014
  2. A MAS (Money Advice Service) report in November 2017 – ‘Adult Numeracy and Financial Literacy’ found that in a survey of 2,086 UK working-age adults who took a numeracy assessment, 45% were found to have poor or low numeracy levels
  3. Cost of outcomes associated with low levels of adult numeracy in the UK – Pro Bono Economics report - March 2014
  4. Data referenced at https://www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/sites/default/files/numeracy

About National Numeracy day

National Numeracy Day is a celebration of numbers and how we use them in everyday life. It brings together individuals, employers, educators and supporters from across the UK to show the importance of numbers and the benefits of using them more effectively.

National Numeracy Day encourages people to feel curious about how numbers can benefit them, know how they can develop their numeracy skills and be confident that they can improve.

The campaign is run by the UK charity National Numeracy. The first National Numeracy day is on 16th May and has been created with founding supporter KPMG and with support from Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Experian, Health Education England, NS&I, RBS, the Scottish Government & Education Scotland, Ufi Charitable Trust and Virgin Money and more.

Find out more at www.numeracyday.com

About National Numeracy

National Numeracy is an independent organisation, founded in 2012, committed to transforming attitudes and achievement in numeracy across the age range. In particular it focuses on those with low levels of numeracy. National Numeracy is a registered company (company no: 7886294) and charity (charity no: 1145669). http://www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 14,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.2 billion in the year ended 30 September 2017. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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