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Key Skills Qualifications Rise

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The number of people getting Key Skills qualifications rose by nearly a quarter last year.

Almost 332,000 certificates were awarded - two thirds of them to 16 to 18-year-olds – up 23% on the previous year.

In the four years since Key Skills qualifications began, 940,000 have been awarded to 572,000 learners.

Some 108,000 people have all three qualifications - in communication, information technology (IT) and "application of numbers".

The figures, published by the Department for Education and Skills, come from the 16 exam boards and other "awarding bodies".

The qualifications are intended to address concern from employers that young people they were taking on did not have the general skills needed to be effective employees.

Despite the increase there is still a long way to go, it's estimated that around 440,000 adults (25% of those 16-65) do not have Level 1 literacy and almost a million (53%) did not have Level 1 numeracy.

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