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The definitive business advent calendar: 5 December – A worrying fact…

2 min read

05 December 2015

Former editor

To go with the chocolate advent calendar most of you will be enthusiastically consuming, we’ve produced our own version of a countdown – bringing you an interesting fact or story based on the particular date.

For 5 December, our advent offering relates to the slightly alarming statistic that only five per cent of British businesses are providing any kind of numeracy training and support for staff.

The finding, highlighted by GSM London, gets you wondering how we can ever expect to fill the much-publicised skills gap if companies throughout the UK are not taking the necessary steps to ensure employees have a basic foundation from which to work from.

As something that is done throughout a person’s school years, it’s thus no surprise that 81 per cent of adults have not tried to improve numeracy skills since leaving full-time education.

The UK currently has about eight million working-age adults who are classified as “below-functional” when it comes to numeracy, and about five million categorised the same for literacy.

To put that into context, that means 20 per cent of working-age adults have numeracy skills which are equivalent to that of where a nine year-old should be.

Read more about the skills gap:

Janki Amin, employer relations and partnerships manager at GSM London, said: “Learning and training shouldn’t end once a person has finished school or higher education, and there is always opportunities to develop your skills throughout your career.

“Focusing on more training and support would not only benefit a business from a HR perspective but also makes business sense to develop your workforce.”

Businesses owners need to assume a certain level of responsibility in the skills gap debate. The Skills Funding Agency has an annual pot of £3.7bn to support colleges, private training organisations and employers.

Its remit includes those not in education, employment and training (NEET), the National Apprenticeship Service, National Careers Service, Advanced Learning Loans and assistance to Local Enterprise Partnerships.

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