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Letter to the editor on the government's maths pledge

Dear Sir,

I was delighted to read that the Prime Minister wants all pupils to study maths in some form to the age of 18. Quite rightly the PM has identified maths and numeracy capabilities are a keystone to career and business success. Sadly, there has not been enough consistent focus on this essential lifetime skill, and it is important to grasp the scale of this challenge to the UK economy as we look for long-term solutions.

Last month, AICPA & CIMA commissioned Opinium to conduct research about the skills the country needs to address productivity and the findings were stark. 25% of SME employers who had identified a skills gap within their organisation in the past 12 months noticed that a lack of numeracy and financial literacy skills among employees were holding back their businesses. Maths and numeracy are also an essential skill necessary to drive the digital transformation of our economy and the creation of jobs that will drive real wage growth opportunities.

Efforts to upskill those entering workforce with maths and numeracy skills can take many forms. However, the key will be how to turn good intent into action. Now that is not an easy equation to solve, and we look forward to seeing the formula.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive — Management Accounting
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, representing AICPA & CIMA