On the face of it, the roofing sector offers careers where technical and hands-on skills are more important than maths and English. However, skills in maths and English are also important.
Numeracy and literacy skills are fundamental to the work involved in the roofing sector. This does not mean writing essays about Shakespeare or doing complicated calculations for no reason. Numeracy and literacy skills are different in focus to much of the maths and English that we do at school.
Numeracy is the ability to grasp mathematical concepts and how they apply in the real world. This means using numeracy skills as part of the job. For example, a roofer often needs to provide a quote for a customer, by working out how much materials are needed to complete a roofing job, then calculating how much that will cost.
Literacy is the everyday application of English language. But literacy is more than being able to read. An employer needs their employees to be able to read, write, spell, listen and speak to a certain standard to fit appropriately with the circumstances. To give a customer the information they need, you might be required to write an email that is formal, yet friendly to the customer, or verbally update the customer in a way that is open, friendly and courteous.
The emerging picture is clear: the ability to use both numeracy and literacy in an everyday setting is important not just for work, but for the emotional, social and physical well-being of people. In a work environment, it is essential that people understand the world around them and that Maths and English are the building blocks not only for future skills and qualifications, for us to develop as people too.