By 2020 it is predicted that 85% of jobs will require level three or above skills and competencies. With almost 30% of the working age population lacking level 2 skills and 1.5 million fewer people taking up adult learning in the last two years, improving the basic skills of the nation’s hardest to reach will be critical. This conference brought together leaders and senior managers from further education, adult learning services, local authorities and the voluntary sector to share best practice and develop strategies to meet future challenges. Questioned about the importance of numeracy to the "skills race", David Lammy MP, responded by saying that: "My number one objective is to break numeracy out of something that we in this room are concerned about to something that is a national preoccupation - I think that's there with literacy". There was, he said, much greater awareness of literacy needs with national campaigns and multi-agency involvement - "That's not happening in the same way in numeracy, despite the challenge being bigger".