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More than a quarter of working adults in Liverpool have set a New Year’s resolution to learn new skills…

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More than a quarter of working adults in Liverpool have set a New Year’s resolution to learn new skills and one in six say their aim is achieving more in their career, according to a new poll of 4,000 adults across England. 

The new poll conducted for the Skills for Life campaign explores people’s attitudes and barriers to getting the job they want. The poll found that half of those surveyed think being more confident with numeracy skills would create more career opportunities for them. In fact, more than a third of Liverpool’s adults would openly admit they struggle with maths. 

  • New Year’s resolutions centre on skills and jobs  
  • Half of people (50%) in Liverpool think being more confident with numeracy skills would create more career opportunities for them, with free course for adults available to boost these skills
  • Almost a quarter (24%) cite lack of confidence as biggest barrier to getting ideal job 

However, nearly a quarter of Liverpool residents say a lack of confidence is one of the most significant factors stopping them from getting their ideal job and (14%) say it’s because they don’t have the right skills. 

Evidence shows that adults who improve their numeracy skills are more likely to be in employment, have higher wages, and better wellbeing**. To improve earning and job prospects adults can access free courses in numeracy, literacy, digital and industry-specific skills that are fully funded by government and supported by employers.

When asked what the main barriers were to taking a course to improve their maths skills, (19%)** of local adults said it was too expensive and (19%)** said they don’t have the time. The campaign is working to break down these barriers and highlight the range of flexible courses on offer to help people upskill and progress.

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “From essential numeracy and literacy to green technology and digital skills, our free courses for adults are the perfect way to build your confidence, open up new job opportunities and develop the skills businesses need.

“What better way to kickstart the New Year than by taking up a new skill to boost your career, unlock your earning potential, and climb the ladder of opportunity?”

Working with renowned psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, the campaign explores how boosting numeracy know-how can have a positive impact on increasing confidence to upskill in other areas, to get a better job at any stage in life.

Honey Langcaster-James said, “Setting out to learn any new skill can feel daunting, especially if it’s been a long time since your school days or formal education. You might worry that you would find it too hard to learn, or that you’d struggle to fit things in around other demands. It’s also natural to be scared that you might fail and so we often don’t even try. 

“On the flipside, if we do face up to our fear and get some support to overcome it, the sense of achievement you can gain can be really amazing, and the opportunities your new skills and confidence can unlock for you can be endless! People are often particularly anxious whenever it comes to numeracy. This is often due to old messages and beliefs that have become embedded and which we hold about ourselves from childhood. So taking that first step to build your confidence and build up your skills numeracy could open up so many more doors in your future learning and development and also build your confidence in whole new ways. It would be a great way to start the new year ahead by taking a significant step forwards, towards the job you want.” 

Shah Hassan, National Careers Service adviser, based in Liverpool, said: “Whether you’re looking to get more out of your job in 2023, or even change your route entirely, there are lots of options available to you. The Skills for Life website has plenty of information on a range of free courses, but if you’re not sure where to start, a National Careers Service adviser can help you. It’s a great time of year to take a step back, think about what you want and identify where your skills gaps are. Investing time in yourself will boost your confidence and your CV.”

Look to unlock your potential and find out more about the range of free courses available to you in 2023 by visiting:, or speak to a careers adviser by calling 0800 100 900.