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Lack of work-readiness prompts project to establish best practice


Increasing concerns by employers about the skills gap of new recruits has prompted the launch of a new project aimed at boosting employability skills across the UK.

The project, led by the new UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), hopes to highlight best practice in teaching teamwork, problem-solving, numeracy and literacy in addition to a range of other skills required for people to be successful in the workplace.

It is hoped that the long term benefits will build on this best practice by embedding employability skills more effectively throughout the UK’s employment and skills system.

Staff from a range of training backgrounds such as schools, colleges, universities, training providers and employers with experience of giving students, customers and employees good employability skills are being urged to tell the UKCES what they are doing and how so their contributions can be analysed and followed up with interviews.

The most successful schemes will feed into recommendations of best practice to government and employment and skills practitioners.

UKCES chief executive Chris Humphries said: "Employers have been concerned for years that new staff don’t have the skills needed for effective performance in today’s workplace. Of course, a critical gap in many sectors arises from the specific technical skills for a particular occupation or business but employers are also finding it extremely hard to get people with the right generic employability skills.

"Candidates don’t understand the culture of the workplace, don’t communicate well, have significant numeracy challenges and can be short on motivation and common sense. Even people with strong technical skills often don’t know how to put them into practice in a real workplace.

"The light on the horizon is that this is not a universal situation. Many schools, colleges, universities and employment training providers are doing an excellent job of preparing their students for the workplace. We want to hear from them. We want to get together all the good practice in this area and synthesise it into principles and practices that everyone can use," he said.


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