It's a refrain that's been heard in maths classrooms for decades: "How am I ever going to use this in real life?"
And schools across the region could be providing the answer, as they consider bringing in a new "practical maths course ... aimed at future tradies".
Teachers from the New England North West took part in a workshop recently that aimed to take them one step closer to offering the pathway to their students.
St Philomenas's maths teacher Phoebe Lam, of Moree, said the school was planning to implement it at the start of next year.
"We find it really, really relevant to a school like this in a regional town, because a lot of kids want to take up farming or a trade is their goal," she said.
"We often find they think mathematics is not relevant to them and ask, 'Why do we need it?'
"This relates or connects maths to real-life situations."
The Maths in Trades Pathway does not replace the current mandated outcomes in NSW; students will simply reach them in ways relevant to trades.
This could include lessons on tax returns and superannuation, for example, or an assessment task to design, and calculate the materials and cost for, a garden bed.
It has been developed by the state-funded Apprenticeship Engagement Forum (AEF), an advisory group that aims to boost apprenticeships uptake to meet the construction industry's future needs.
AEF executive director Andrew Bryson said, however, the pathway was also relevant to other trades such as hospitality, hairdressing and electrical.
"It covers every trade that an individual male or female could desire to go into," Mr Bryson said.
"The delivery of it is the key to it, because it's an experiential process where you take theory and take it into practice."
Mr Bryson said it was available to it would "give another career potential pathway to their students".
"The second thing it will do is - until maths becomes mandatory, which is probably one or two years off - it will encourage young men and women not to drop their mathematics in years 11 and 12."