North Kensington Centre Renovation Project
Morley’s Director of Community Learning Gerald Jones outlines a fresh approach to using maths and budgeting skills in the home. Partnering with Hyde, workshops will support local residents disproportionately affected by the cost of living crisis to learn new skills in managing their household budgets. Part of the Government’s Multiply initiative to fund Maths skills for adult learners, it is hoped that the scheme’s pilot will result in roll out across the wider housing sector.
Morley College London, London’s largest provider of adult education and community learning, has been deploying the new strand of Multiply funding (a new scheme aimed at improving adult numeracy skills) in order to help address the cost of living crisis. Morley has worked in partnership with Hyde Group experts to co-design a workshop that will help Hyde housing association residents with the cost of living crisis.
The workshop is designed to build skills and confidence in creating a balanced household budget, in a spending diary for planning monthly income and expenditure, and in financial prioritising. Its aim is to target female residents in particular, as they are disproportionately affected by the crisis. The workshops are being piloted by Programme Area Manager for Supported Learning, Lesley Miller, and there is a wider interest from London’s Housing Association sector in taking these workshops out to residents across London.
More about the cost of living crisis
The cost of living crisis poses a real challenge to households: to make ends meet whilst running costs are spiralling. Prices of essential goods and services (food, energy, rents) are rising faster than income, meaning that households are struggling to pay for life’s essentials, and often face the dilemma of whether to buy food, heat a home, pay the rent, or skip meals to pay other costs.
The causes of this inflation are well documented (and interlinked): the Covid-19 pandemic; the global supply chain crisis; the energy crisis; the invasion of Ukraine by Russia; the impact of Brexit; and the collapse of the pound in autumn 2022. These factors have had the effect of pushing up costs for businesses, and so pushing up prices for consumers.
The unequal impact on women
Not everyone is equally affected. Economic crises amplify pre-existing inequalities, and this means that women have been more affected by the cost of living crisis than men. Women occupy a more disadvantaged place within the labour market, with a higher percentage working part time, or in insecure or lower-paid roles. Women have greater caring responsibilities in general, with increased disruption to their employment, greater reliance on benefits, and less capacity to work more hours. And there is a strong link between child poverty and women’s poverty. Ninety percent of lone parent families are headed by women, raising over three million children, and a half of all those children are in poverty.
What is Multiply?
Multiply is a free numeracy skills programme for adults without GCSE maths, including free courses, on-demand tutorials and support. The objective of Multiply is to increase the number of adults achieving maths qualifications up to Level 2, with an investment of £560 million. Find out more about Multiply.
Courses for Morley College London students
We have plans to make this workshop available for all Morley students – so please do look out for information about this on our new Multiply webpage.