Adults in Cumbria who want to improve their numeracy skills will soon be able to join free courses to help boost their job prospects, as well as their maths confidence in everyday life.

Known as Multiply, the free courses will be administered by Cumbria County Council, thanks to a £2.3 million award from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  

Aimed at adults who do not have a GCSE grade C/4 or higher in maths, the Multiply courses will offer an opportunity to improve their numeracy through free flexible courses that fit around their lives.

People who improve their numeracy skills are more likely to be in employment, have higher wages, and better wellbeing. Around 17 million adults in England - half of the working-age population - have the numeracy skills of primary school children. Poor numeracy skills can hold people back from having the confidence to get on in life and into work.

The free courses will be available to Cumbrian residents on either a part-time or intensive basis and will be offered in flexible settings across the county.  Courses will be tailored to meet the needs of the local community through a number of different providers. 

Local employers will also benefit from the scheme.  Courses and activities can be tailored to meet the numeracy needs of their employees and business, at no cost to them.  Businesses that develop their employees’ numeracy skills can also boost productivity, increase profits and improve employee retention. 

Potential students and employers interested in searching courses and providers available can visit

Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services, said:

“It is a significant and positive step that resources are being put in place locally, in Cumbria, to help improve numeracy skills. Being able to work with numbers is such an empowering part of our daily lives.  It helps us tackle daily issues at home and work and make the most of our time and money.  Any scheme which enables us to help more people feel more confident in doing this has to be a good thing.

“With the cost-of-living crisis, every penny counts for many households across the county.  Therefore, managing our money is so much more effective if we have a basic understanding of numbers.

“Building up confidence in using numbers can help people secure better employment and earn better wages to drive long-term prosperity.  The Multiply programme will help do this.”

James Wright, Multiply Lead for Right2Work, said: “Basic maths is at the heart of so many things - through the Multiply programme we aim to highlight a variety of key areas it touches upon within our daily lives.

"Working at each learner’s pace we aim to better explain its importance, reveal it needn’t be something that is feared and work though a good number of practical examples and real-life situations.

“All those who sign-up to our courses will be guaranteed to take away new knowledge and real-life skills that will continue to benefit them for years to come.”

To find out more about the Multiply programme in Cumbria, visit: