Professor Adrian Smith's report Making Mathematics Count says that more needs to be done to attract maths lecturers and encourage students to keep it up after leaving school.
There is too little information about the number of suitably-qualified maths lecturers in FE, it says, but colleges' recruitment problems show there is a shortage.
The inquiry found that maths has also become a neglected subject in vocational training.
Professor Smith said that people delivering the vocational courses "do not have the necessary mathematical competence, let alone the teaching skills to help those who do not understand the maths."
He added that the subject suffers from a curriculum and qualifications framework which fail to meet the needs of employers or inspire students.