Core Maths is a new Level 3 course for students in post-16 education that was introduced by the Department for Education in September 2014. It forms a major part of the Government’s plan to increase participation and raise standards in mathematics education. Only 20 per cent of students study maths beyond GCSE in the UK – the lowest rate in leading developed countries in the world; in Japan, this figure is 85 per cent. This puts young people in the UK at a major disadvantage in a global job market. The UK government wants this to change and their aim is to ensure that by 2020, the vast majority of all students in post-16 education continue to study some form of maths.
The Core Maths course has been designed in association with employers, universities and professional bodies as valuable preparation for employment and further studies.
The new Core Maths qualification is being taken by students who have passed GCSE mathematics at grade 4 or above but have decided not to study A Level mathematics. The qualification is equivalent to an AS Level in terms of UCAS points.
Students learn through using and applying mathematics to solve meaningful and ‘real-life’ problems including those set in:
• Personal contexts: scenarios related to the individual, family or peer group
• Occupational contexts: scenarios related to the world of work
• Societal contexts: scenarios related to local, national or global communities
• Scientific contexts: scenarios related to the natural world, science and technology.
Importantly, this equips students with practical and useful maths skills relevant to:
• Business needs e.g. analysing and evaluating data, budget management, problem solving approaches, financial calculations etc.
• Everyday life requirements e.g. preparing tax returns, applying for loans, general budgeting and managing household fi nances, etc.
Business Related Numeracy Skills Core Maths Students Study
The course covers:
• Statistics and algebra
• Probability and estimation
• Data analysis and modelling
• Sequences and growth
• Financial planning and management
• Problem solving approaches and techniques e.g. linear programming
• Using technology and spreadsheets
All these concepts and techniques are designed to provide students with the skills and confidence to tackle everyday demands they are likely to encounter in their working lives.
Please pass on the information about the new practical Core Maths qualification to anyone in your organisation responsible for recruiting new school and college leavers and apprentices. If any of your employees have children who are starting to consider their post GCSE subject options please make them aware of the new qualification. Not only will the course equip them with useful future employment skills but Core Maths also helps students studying other A Level subjects including: science, geography, business studies, psychology and economics. Tell your local schools and colleges that you are aware of the benefits of the new Core Maths qualification.
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Chairman and CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland
Whether in retail, healthcare, the service sector, transport or manufacturing, the UK will only secure and strengthen its competitive position in the global economy if it has a future workforce with solid numeracy and financial management skills. The new Core Maths qualification is an excellent way to ensure British employers have a ready pipeline of young talent with the maths skills they need.
Managing Director of Brompton Bicycles Ltd
At Brompton, as with every business maths runs through our organisation; design, purchasing, budgeting and profit & loss. It effects all areas HR, Marketing, Logistics, ICT not just those that are perceived to be mathematical like Finance or Design. Too often maths is discarded too early and its relevance to the subject ignored. The introduction of Core Maths is a superb tool to ensure that development of an appreciation of financial management and problem solving is continued, something that is critical to all areas of business.
Good numeracy skills are important for all apprentices. The real life mathematics skills students learn on the new Core Maths qualification will benefit not only their future employers but give the students and apprentices confidence to tackle and solve problems in their everyday lives too.
Creative Director, Your Studio Ltd & Lecturer at the Royal College of Art
Core Maths is the kind of course that could give you the foundations to move into any field with real confidence. From advertising to animation, graphics to web design, the understanding of grids, mathematics, formulas and percentages will become part of your everyday that you effortlessly flow over without them becoming barriers to your success.
Talent and Resources Director, Crossrail
The world of work is changing rapidly, particularly in terms of technological change, and with this comes an increasing demand for people with mathematical skills. The new (Core Maths) qualification will be of immense value to employers who not only want to develop their employees but also want to employ numerate school leavers, apprentices and graduates who have a good grasp of financial management and problem solving approaches.
Chairman of leading international environmental consultancy SLR
The real life mathematics skills students learn on the new Core Maths qualification will benefit not only their future employers but give the students’ confidence to tackle and solve problems in their everyday lives. SLR employs over 1200 of the world’s brightest environmental scientists working for leading companies all around the globe, and none of them would be able to perform effectively without a solid base of mathematical competence
Talent Management Director at The LGC Group
As a world leading life science company, LGC relies on its employees to have an excellent understanding of maths, whether, for example, working in the labs studying DNA, or in an office, reviewing budgets or counting stock. Numeracy skills - the ability to read data - for employees at all levels, regardless of job role or age, are a critical factor in ensuring that we maintain our standards of excellence, help our employees grow in their career and ensure the ongoing growth and success of our business.
Managing Director at MTM Products Limited + Director at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire & Leicestershire)
Many businesses, including my own, have experienced difficulty in recruiting young people with good numeracy skills. I can think of very few jobs in my organisation regardless of level or function, that do not require numeracy, analytical or problem-solving skills.
The new Core Maths qualification which relates to real life situations in the workplace will ensure that we can recruit “work ready” young people who will quickly be able to contribute to the success of the business. I would encourage other businesses to ensure that their local schools and colleges offer this highly relevant maths qualification.
Director of Pertemps Recruitment Partnership Ltd
As an established recruitment solutions provider, Pertemps is regularly asked by employers to provide staff with good maths skills. Any initiative that encourages more young people to continue with their maths studies is highly commendable.
Managing Director, Minted Box
Maths is at the core of everyday life. As an education software company, we pride ourselves on allowing teachers and educators with up-to-date information on relevant student data and allow analysis of this. Maths is an integral part of our day to day existence – from support data analysis to complex coding and performance. A solid understanding of mathematical concepts is the corner stone of our business and that of our employees, the Core Maths qualifications can help to prepare someone for the mathematical demands required in business.
Sally Orlopp, Director of People, Skills & Employability, Centrepoint
For so many young people, the new Core Maths qualification will allow them to build their workplace skills and access promotional opportunities rather than staying in low paid roles. It means a real chance to succeed and access natural progression routes in their jobs or careers. Centrepoint starts homeless young people on their journey to access foundation level maths and entry level jobs. It would be great to know that their journey will continue so that once they are on the same footing as their peers when entering the job market, they have a real chance in the workplace to increase their skill set and move to the next step in their personal and work life.
Richard Evans, Director of Talent and Learning, McDonald's UK
Every year, McDonald’s invests £43m into the training and development of our people and delivering maths teaching as a core area, is part of this. A solid understanding of numeracy, problem solving and financial management is a critical part of our future workforce, starting from our restaurant crew, right through to leaders of our business. We are incredibly supportive of any initiatives, such as Core Maths, which encourage individuals to further their numerical understanding and helps prepare them for the world of business, gives them confidence and sets them apart from others in an incredibly competitive workplace.
Michael Wolfers, Marketing Development Manager, Mashuni Ltd
If many young people knew maths was about everyday life, they would find it more interesting. The first time I realised that I had learned something from my school days studying maths at school was making an exhaust for a two-stroke motorcycle. I had to work out the capacity of a cone and cylinder and weld them together, and the formula was critical to the running of the engine. That was fun and practical! Maths is as essential as language, the sooner its taught to more students, the better.
Chris Allen, Service Centre Manager, Aalco Nottingham
Asking young adults if they want more greens with their dinner is likely to promote a predictable response, and so a similar reaction may occur when suggesting Core Maths will “help you grow big and strong”. Here’s why. We need staff to be comfortable and confident when dealing with numbers. We do not need geniuses to do calculus: our sales teams have to move through a myriad of specifications and sizes; convert from one standard to another; work margins; calculate weights; and be mentally agile. It’s vital our fork lift drivers can differentiate numerical instructions and place loads that are weight critical, at a pace the business requires. This is the same with warehouse staff who’s accuracy of understanding maths could be critical to the customer’s final demands. We do see that not maintaining maths knowledge can affect very capable and positive staff, who may be unable to deliver their full potential. So like Mum’s say, do Core Maths, as it’ll make you big and strong!
Morley Sage, Managing Director, Stovax Heating Group
It is often not appreciated by students how important Maths is to so many different aspects of the business. Maths plays an essential part in design, development, product testing and auditing, production engineering as well as the more obvious areas such as Finance and Procurement. As a salesperson or a buyer, a good understanding of Maths principles and the ability to mentally translate conversations into their financial implications gives an immediate advantage over someone who is not so readily able to do this. In Marketing, the ability to interpret statistical data is a real advantage. Hence we are always looking for and encouraged when candidates have a sound Maths training and understanding; and having such a skill can broaden the opportunities open to you.
Donna Newton, Head of Client Relations, TPP Recruitment
Maths was never my best subject in school, but I've now realised that I use it every day - from calculating percentages, converting an annual salary to hourly pay rate, working out fill ratios and best value calculations for the client. The other side of the coin is once I have paid all my bills factored in any emergency payments, will I have enough money to buy the shoes I have to have?!
Tom Slatter, Senior Programme Manager, The Brokerage Citylink
Whether you're an accountant putting together a profit and loss spreadsheet, a banker deciding whether an investment is sound, or an insurance underwriter working out the odds of someone scoring in basketball from the middle of the court, maths skills are vital to the businesses we work with at The Brokerage Citylink. Even so, not enough young people currently study maths beyond GCSE, even though businesses are crying out for people with those skills. Maths is vital to the working world and we would encourage all young people to study maths to the highest level they can. The Core Maths qualification is a great way to do that.