Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Mathematics for the Workplace




Mathematics for the Workplace

        Major employers in the engineering, construction, pharmaceutical, financial and retail sectors have all made clear to us their continuing need for people with appropriate mathematical skills. In particular, employees highlight the storage of statisticians. Advanced and developing economies need an increasing number of people with more than minimum qualifications in mathematics to stay ahead in international competitiveness and in particular to effectively exploit advances in technology. An adequate supply of young people with mastery of appropriate mathematical skills at all levels is vital to the future prosperity of Nigeria.

        Requirements for mathematical skills in the workplace have been examined in detail in a recent report mathematical skills in the workplace (Celia Hoyles, Alison Wolf, Susan Molyneux-Hodgson and Phillip Kent, June 2002, Institute of Education and STMC). A key finding of the study was that although the ubiquitous use of the information technology in all sectors has changed the nature of the mathematical skills required, it has not reduced the need for mathematics. The authors of the report refers to these mathematical skills and competences, framed by the work situation and practice and the use of its tools, as “mathematical literacy” the term partly reflects the skills needed by individuals in relation to business goals but also reflects the need to communicate, mathematically express decisions and judgment to others. On the basis of detailed case studies the report concludes that there is an increasing need for workers at all levels of organization to possess an appropriate level of mathematical literacy.

Mathematics for the Citizens

        The acquisition of at least basic mathematical skills, commonly referred to as “numeracy” – is vital to the life of opportunities and achievements of individual citizens. Research shows that problems with basic skills have a continuing adverse effect on people lives and that problem with numeracy lead to the greatest disadvantages for the individual in the labour market and in terms of general social exclusion. Individuals with limited basic mathematical skills are likely to be employed and if they are less employed are likely to have been promoted or to have received further training.

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