The UK is facing a significant skills gap as the public fail to demonstrate core employability skills, such as leadership and creativity, a major new study from Barclays LifeSkills can reveal.
The report, “How employable is the UK?”, which surveyed and tested over 10,000 16-65 year olds, 600 employers and 500 educators from across the UK, found that more than half (57 per cent) of over 16s are failing to demonstrate all the employability skills needed to succeed in the future workplace.
These skills are crucial in preparing the UK for a world of work where, due to the speed of change, we are unable to accurately predict what the jobs of the future will look like and what technical skills will be needed. The seven employability skills are what humans are best at – they cannot be replicated by robots and will become even more valuable in the future, as global patterns of work change and automation, freelance working patterns and the average working age all increase.
The study showed that traditional sources of these skills, like in-work training and formal education, are not currently set-up to tackle the employability skills gap. Despite the majority (79 per cent) of UK employers rating the skills as important to their industry in the next ten years, a third (34 per cent) do not plan to offer any training in the near future.Research among teachers revealed that 22 per cent don’t think their institution is effective in developing employability skills for pupils, with just 6 per cent feeling that their students are fully prepared with these skills when leaving the school gates.