Numeracy skills are a range of abilities that involve numbers. How to interpret and understand them, as well as communicating their meaning to others.
They include things like adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, to more complex maths such as algebra, geometry, or trigonometry.
What can I do to improve my numeracy skills?
The first step is to understand where your skill level is at and work out your strengths and weaknesses.
While there is no problem with working on all your numeracy skills, it may be a better idea to focus on the skills that you will need in your job.
For example, if you are looking at a job in the trades then you might want to focus on spatial skills and using measurements.
If you are more interested in a role in IT, you may be better off focussing on interpreting statistics or recognising and using patterns.
A role in business or sales however might mean you need to focus on fractions and percentages.
Having a clear idea on the job you want and identifying actionable steps to take to get that job is crucial. It’s no use delving deep into study of algebra if you are going for a job in horticulture!
Why are numeracy skills important?
Poor numeracy skills can become a barrier to employment with more and more employers requiring higher levels of numeracy skills. In some industries, numeracy tests even form a part of the interview process!
Poor numeracy skills don’t just make it harder to get a job, it also makes it more difficult to keep a job.
While it is unclear just how much businesses are affected by poor employee numeracy skills one thing is for certain, technology has, and continues to, vastly change workplaces as we know it.
One recent trend for example is the use of data in businesses. The ability to interpret it and communicate it is becoming widespread in many industries, even some that you may not think were so reliant on math, like horticulture and agriculture.
But it’s not just work that can be affected by numeracy skills.
The skills to effectively read maps, working out timetables, understanding and comparing plans for utilities or loans are all things that can affect your daily life.
If you don’t have the numeracy skills to effectively tackle these challenges then you may not be living your best life.
Thankfully there are a wide range of resources and supports available should you need to improve your numeracy skills.
Where to find numeracy skills courses
There are plenty of things online however one really great resource is khan academy. They provide completely free instruction and learning materials on a range of subjects including math.
You can pick exactly what components of math you need to build on and they can provide tutorials and workbooks to improve on your numeracy skills.
If you are a more independent learner, you could also just pick up a second-hand maths textbook from the op-shop. The lifeline book fest is always stacked with used textbooks for as little as a dollar!
Alternatively, you could enrol in the SEE program which delivers flexible and individualised training to your needs.
This course offers online and classroom-based training that is tailored to your specific skill-set and the areas you need to develop to get that dream job.
If you are interested in building your numeracy skills, why don’t you get in touch with one of our consultants to discuss your options