Scheme aims to boost numbers to improve numeracy in adults across the region
Staff from the University of Wolverhampton and West Midlands Combined Authority teamed up recently to introduce a group of tutors to each other who are aiming to boost numbers on an innovative new scheme to help improve numeracy in adults across the West Midlands region.
The University was recently awarded a grant of £2 million by the West Midlands Combined Authority under the Multiply project to tackle adult numeracy for residents of the West Midlands.
The academic project team will deliver a flexible, innovative online numeracy support solution using university students from regional universities as tutors & mentors to support working adult residents of the WMCA catchment area to improve their functional numeracy skills.
Once up and running, the service will offer one-to-one and small group tuition & guidance in mathematics/numeracy to working adults from across the West Midlands who do not already hold a GCSE qualification at grade 4/C equivalent.
The project team consists of colleagues from across the University sourced from the School of Engineering, Computing & Mathematical Sciences, the School of Education, the STEM Response Team and Aspire to HE.
At the live session held at the University, 10 tutors gathered together with key staff to meet each other and the wider academic team and discuss the objectives of the scheme. It also gave them the opportunity to ask any questions.
Project lead at the University, Dr Liam Naughton, said: “This is an excellent outcome for the University and for the working adults of the West Midlands. We have an established record of excellence in upskilling learners with maths/numeracy and literacy to open doors to career progression.
“We are really excited to work with our partners in Higher Education, Further Education, Adult Education as well as employers on this funded project and it was really great to get 10 of our first tutors together in a room so that we could discuss the objectives of the project and give them an introduction into how the scheme is going to work.”
The tutors are Otobong Edemenang (Wolverhampton), Tina Mehta (West Bromwich), Macy Boddy (Tipton), Wendy Lomas (KIdderminster), Khaya Hart (Stafford), Akinyemi Arabambi (Wolverhampton), Yetunde Obakeye (Wolverhampton), Prashant Upadhyay (Wolverhampton) and Jack Gilkes (Dudley).
Macy Boddy, currently studying for a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “I do Maths every single day of my life and it’s very important to me so to be able to introduce it to adults who might not have the confidence to get back into it themselves is a real opportunity.
“Hopefully it will help to break the stigma that everyone hates Maths and it’s the worse thing in the world! I didn’t have someone pushing me to do Maths when I was growing up and there are probably adults who are going to use Multiply who have been in the same situation. They might not have been interested in learning and might not have wanted to engage but they might need to upskill in their job, or maybe they will be looking for a new career. This scheme is ideal for that, and they’ll find that once they start learning again they will be fine.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “It’s wonderful news that the WMCA - via the Multiply programme - has been able to make this £2m investment which will address adult functional numeracy skills for the benefit of local people in Wolverhampton.
The University of Wolverhampton will deliver this skills training on the ground working in partnership with a diverse project team. Together we can help residents to develop flexible and transferable numeracy skills that support their capability to play their part in the workforce of the future in the months and years ahead.”
The project team at the University also includes Professor Diana Bannister, Gemma Kay, Dr Martin Khechara, Abigail Parkes, Emily Rodden, Jordan Brennan, Dr Andrew Gascoyne and Heather Angell.
Picture caption: Front row left to right: Otobong Edemenang (Wolverhampton), Tina Mehta (West Bromwich), Macy Boddy (Tipton), Wendy Lomas (KIdderminster). Back row, left to right: Khaya Hart (Stafford), Akinyemi Arabambi (Wolverhampton), Yetunde Obakeye (Wolverhampton), Prashant Upadhyay (Wolverhampton), Jack Gilkes (Dudley).
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