Student help page 2018-08-30T10:45:18+00:00

Why are English and maths skills so important to your future?

English and maths skills are vital to help you succeed in your education, career and everyday life.

Even if you’re not a fan of these subjects, it’s important to recognise the role they play and why you should not ignore them. This page has been created to give you more information about why and how these skills can help you to succeed.

In recent years, there has been a huge push by employers and education providers to ensure all employees and students have good basic English and maths skills.  So if you want to get that dream job, or be accepted by the college or Uni of your choice, it’s time to take English and maths seriously.

“But my course has nothing to do with English and maths…”

You’d be surprised! Even if you are undertaking a course or career in a more vocational area such as construction, hairdressing or media, English and maths skills are still vitally important. For example:

  • To work effectively in the building trade you will need to make measurements and calculations, work out angles and ratios.
  • In hairdressing you will need to understand quantities and proportions for colour treatments.
  • In media, good communication and English skills are vital!

Everyone wants to earn good money, right?

You may not be keen on doing English and maths during your college course or apprenticeship (and may have thought you could leave these subjects behind after school), but taking a little time to improve them could be reflected in your pay and lifestyle in the future. Government studies have shown that people with good maths skills earn, on average, £2100 per year more!

Interested in setting up your own business?

If you are planning on pursuing a career in plumbing, or in beauty therapy, you will probably be happy working for someone else for a few years, learning the ropes and developing your skills. But imagine how your earnings could rocket if you were able to set up your own business in the future – not to mention your feelings of confidence and self-worth! Good English and maths skills will allow you to write business plans, create budgets and communicate effectively with suppliers and customers.

Think about the opportunities better English and maths skills could bring you

The earlier you start to take English and maths seriously, the sooner you will find yourself on the path to a brighter future with greater opportunities.

“I found maths really boring at school.  I left school with a grade E and I had no plans to do any more – until I found out I needed it to progress in my career. At first I was a bit nervous about studying maths again, but I ended up passing my maths functional skills course in just six weeks and went on to study the foundation degree, which I passed with merit. My advice to anyone who needs to improve their English or maths grades is believe in yourself and just go for it.”

Harriet Pye, Mid Kent College

Useful video links

A very useful explanation of functional skills, created by Bury College:

A fascinating insight into the importance of functional skills in the workplace from Hull College:

A series of videos from Lincoln College, highlighting how functional skills is used across a range of industries: