Graphic images of various maths utensils such as pens pads and scissors.

Five ways to get involved with National Numeracy Day this year

This year, Amazon is delighted to act as a lead supporter for National Numeracy Day – shining a light on the important role of numeracy in our everyday lives.
on 12 May 2020
We are delighted to announce our role as a lead supporter for National Numeracy Day.

National Numeracy Day is an annual nationwide event that helps to reframe attitudes and abilities around numeracy in everyday life. This year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been turned into a Virtual Festival.

At Amazon, numeracy is vital for our workforce of builders, inventors and innovators. From online shopping suggestions to Fulfilment Centres and delivery routes, numeracy underpins every stage of your Amazon order.
Doug Gurr, Head of Amazon UK - Why Numbers Are Important

“As I talk to other business leaders, I’m reminded that a solid understanding of numeracy can be a vital asset for virtually any job in the future world of work,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager for Amazon. “That’s why I’m personally so passionate in supporting National Numeracy Day, which is helping all of us in Britain to improve our numeracy.”

“Each area of my career has involved problem solving and none of that would have been possible without a good grounding in numeracy”, added Fiona McDonnell, Director, Amazon. “Growing up, I loved number-driven subjects and the joy of applying mathematical principles to build real things – like a circuit to power a lightbulb. Those ‘eureka’ moments set me on a fascinating career path.”

Here are five ways to get involved with National Numeracy Day that will inspire you to refresh your numeracy skills.
  1. Take on the National Numeracy Challenge

    The National Numeracy Challenge is a free online resource designed to help users improve their everyday maths skills in manageable steps.

    You might want to quickly check your numeracy levels, improve your skills or identify strengths and weaknesses.

    The Challenge has been updated with a brand-new look, an even quicker way to check your skills, and videos to show that however you feel about maths, you’re not alone.

    So far, more than 280,000 users have registered to find out their numeracy level – get involved today!
  2. Get involved with the Virtual Festival

    The National Numeracy Day Virtual Festival on May 13 will include a packed schedule of online events to help with numeracy while the nation is at home.

    Three new themes have been introduced to be pertinent right now: helping children to learn; improving self-confidence and skills; and weathering the storm, financially.

    Learners of all ages will share their experiences, tips and attitudes on the benefits of numeracy. Activities include free, virtual drop-in sessions, workshops, talks and much more.
  3. “Alexa, tell me a joke about maths”

    To mark National Numeracy Day, Alexa users can access useful information and resources about numeracy and the event with a range of different commands such as:

    “Alexa, why is maths important?”

    “Alexa, tell me a joke about maths”

    “Alexa, rap about pi”

    Alexa users can also open the skill Maths Coach, which keeps your mathematical brain active with five levels of difficulty. To get started, use a phrase like “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach to start a test” or “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach for a hard addition test”.

    Ask Alexa today to find out more!
  4. Sign up to Amazon Future Engineer’s free virtual coding programme

    Amazon Future Engineer, launched last year, is our comprehensive classroom-to-career programme to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science.

    The programme includes engaging free resources and opportunities for primary schools, secondary schools and post-18 education.

    To support learners and parents while schools are closed, Amazon Future Engineer has launched a free virtual coding programme that builds computer science skills for students aged 12 to 17.

    Students can sign up today to access 20 hours of free, curriculum-linked content, which includes flying drones, designing smart cities and creating chat bots. The resources use a Python Programming Platform, exploring ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ themes, plus a moderated forum and handy FAQs. Students can also earn experience points for completing the work and earn badges when they unlock skills.

    Sign up today to get involved.
  5. Share your numeracy success stories

    We’ll be encouraging Amazon employees, friends and family to share their numeracy success stories on social media.

    Whether numeracy has unlocked an exciting career path, helped you overcome a day-to-day challenge, or inspired you and your family to become the next generation of inventors – we want to hear about it!

    Use the hashtags #NationalNumeracyDay, #MathsatHome and #everydaymaths to take part in the national conversation and share your success story.

    For regular updates about National Numeracy Day, keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Why is Amazon supporting National Numeracy Day?

Research from National Numeracy has highlighted the urgent need for a new approach to numeracy across society. The charity found that low numeracy costs UK employers around £3.2bn each year. In addition, it was reported that nearly half of all working-age adults in the UK have the numeracy level of a primary school child, while three quarters of working adults would struggle to pass a maths GCSE.

A close up image of National Numeracy Day Hero's Oreleo and Cara. They are in a blue bubble with numbers surrounding them.
That’s a problem not only for both employers and employees, but also for society as Nationla Numeracy found that those with poor numerical skills are twice as likely to be unemployed.

Amazon is dedicated to helping young people build practical and relevant skills for their futures and has created multiple initiatives to serve this purpose. We also believe that these opportunities should be open for everyone, regardless of age or background.

Last year, we announced 1,000 new apprenticeships in the UK for STEM-related roles. This gives new and existing employees the opportunity to develop and learn the necessary skills to succeed in the digital age – and continue to earn at the same time.

We also partnered with the British Science Association to hold STEM workshops for British Science Week to generate excitement in these career fields and invited more than 1,200 pupils from local schools to our Fulfilment Centres to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Amazon uses technology and AI to process orders.

We are delighted to be supporting National Numeracy Day again this year and look forward to seeing the nation get involved with the Virtual Festival.

Find out more about National Numeracy Day’s Virtual Festival.
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