A NEW £7.9million countywide campaign has been launched by Essex County Council to raise skills and attainment in maths for students aged 19 and over.

Essex residents can sign up to the Multiply in Essex programme’s free courses and potentially gain a qualification.

Essex County Council has been given £7.9million from the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver and manage the Multiply programme over the next three years.

Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education excellence, lifelong learning and employability, said: “Multiply is a great opportunity for residents of Essex to increase their maths and numeracy skills.

“We forget how often we use maths in our everyday lives, from measuring out a recipe, working out what we can afford to buy, to understanding bills and payslips.

“With budgets getting tighter due to the increased cost of living, it is more important than ever that we are confident in managing our personal finances.”

The programme will deliver 14,200 new opportunities for Essex residents to improve their maths skills by March 2025.

It will also enable businesses to upskill their employees for free.

Its launch comes following a DfE study of numeracy skills levels across the country.

Essex was ranked 114 out of 151 authorities in England for maths skills, the 38th lowest in the UK.

Multiply in Essex will support people to achieve maths qualifications up to NVQ2 (GCSE at grade 4 to 9 or A*to C).

Not having this qualification often prevents people from progressing to NVQ3 and above, as well as limiting the job opportunities available to them.

Short bite-sized and longer-term courses are now available at further education colleges, adult community learning, local libraries, and other community venues across the county.

Courses will focus on supporting residents to improve their maths skills to gain qualifications, help boost their career prospects, manage their finances and help children with their schoolwork.

The campaign has already gained support from consumer champion, Matt Allwright and TV presenter and maths guru, Johnny Ball, who will attend an event in Essex in the coming weeks.

For more information on Multiply in Essex visit bit.ly/3kXtthh.