Tackling the Challenge of Low Numeracy Skills in Young People and Adults

Many learners entering vocational and further education have a basic level of numeracy. 

The evidence suggests that apprenticeship provision is more effective when numeracy is developed as part of all post-16 training, rather than being optional. Effective teachers need to explore numeracy tasks in the contexts learners are going to find them - so that learners can gain confidence in applying mathematical techniques in their training, work and personal lives. Numeracy courses are motivating and engaging when they are mapped to the learners' goals - both long term and medium, personal and career.  

The desired outcome is that learners are able to solve problems that are life-like by being procedurally complex but theoretically simple.  When learning outcomes in vocational training and numeracy are not aligned, issues arise, as shared by the author of the report: 

"An apprentice interviewed in a care home felt that the session on measuring weights had not helped her understand how to use scales in the kitchen to weigh out food for the residents with diabetes" 

Tackling the Challenge of Low Numeracy Skills in Young People and Adults. 2011. Ofsted.