Are you learning the right skills for work?

The skills employers look for are changing. Are you learning what you need to know at school? Nearly half of you say ‘no’, according to our latest survey.

Nearly half (48%) of young people we asked believe they’re not being taught the skills employers will be looking for in the near future. That’s the result of our survey asking 2,000 young people and their parents which skills they thought would be most important to businesses in the next 10 years, and whether they were being taught them.

We asked the question as part of our biannual LifeSkills Barometer survey, in response to the Future Work Skills 2020 report, which asked businesses the same thing. That report revealed this list of the skills businesses say will be the most important in entry-level candidates in 10 years’ time.

  • Reasoning and prioritising
  • Working effectively in large teams
  • Solve problems and spotting mistakes
  • Working with people of different generations and backgrounds
  • Understanding complex data
  • Communicating through video/audio rather than writing
  • Dealing with lots of information at one time and multi-tasking
  • Specialising in one area but also being good at a broad range of subjects
  • Getting the most out of working environments 

Interestingly, according to the LifeSkills Barometer, the majority of young people didn’t recognise the importance of many of these skills. Only 34% knew that prioritising workloads and having skills in a broad range of subjects would be required, while only 35% identified working in large teams as a priority.

“This is unacceptable,” says Head of LifeSkills Kirstie Mackey. “Businesses must work with education providers and the government to ensure young people have the skills needed to succeed.” 

Commenting on these results, Founder of National Careers Week Nick Newman added, “It’s essential that young people not only understand the skills employers will be looking for in the future but are also given the appropriate guidance and support to develop them.”

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