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Skills Minister turns market trader to promote adult numeracy

Skills for Life Network

Market traders up and down the country are to join a numeracy drive from the Department for Education and Skills’ Get On campaign

‘Skills Minister Phil Hope MP paid tribute to the numeracy skills of the nation’s 46,000 stallholders when he launched a partnership with the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) this morning at London’s Church St market this month.

Over 435 million trips are made to the UK’s markets every year. Traders have accepted the Get On campaign’s challenge to encourage shoppers into free local basic skills courses, targeting 14.9 million adults who lack the skills to pass a maths GCSE.

As part of the partnership to support the Government’s push to improve adult skills, ‘Get On’ branded plastic shopping bags will be given away by stallholders together with scratchcards to help customer’s agility totting up sums.

Getting behind a local stall to serve Londoners fruit and veg whilst trying out his "maths down the market" patter and "giving away skills for free." Phil Hope said:

"This partnership with the NMTF is right on the money and shows the importance of good maths skills. Market traders can tot up bills without a moment’s thought – after all, how often do you see a till on stall? As confident counters we think they set a great example for people who might be less sure with their maths, and we believe they are keen to make the most of their very visible role in the local community.

"By handing out information about the free courses to customers the Traders will be giving the millions of adults who have problems with numbers the confidence to test their own skills and consider getting back to learning. Why not call 0800 100 900 and find out about improving your skills? Good numeracy skills are vital for life and work and provide the ideal stepping stone to further learning. "

Joe Harrison, president of the National Market Traders Federation said:

"We are delighted to be supporting the ‘Get On’ campaign and to be promoting the importance of numeracy and literacy skills for adults. As market traders, we are proud of the skills we have developed and use as part of our daily work and we think we could really help to spread the learning message to the thousands of customers we serve each day."

Charlie Cook, market trader and Chairman of the Church Street market added:

"I have worked as a market trader all my life, and take my maths skills for granted. However when I think about how often I need to calculate costs in my head, and how much slower I would be at my job if I had to use a calculator every day, I realise how important they are. I’m looking forward to working with the Get On campaign, and would encourage anyone out there who doesn’t feel very confident with maths to find out more about the campaign, to build on what they can already do."

Shoppers interested in the campaign are encouraged to call the free helpline on 0800 100 900 and find out about improving their skills.’

Free promotional materials to support the Market Trader initiative can be ordered from the Get On Campaign office, telephone 020 7544 3130.

Press release: Wired Gov

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