Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills

LifeSkills created by Barclays asked UK employers across a range of different sectors and industries to choose the skills that matter most to them when building their workforce.

The seven core skills identified are:

  1. Proactivity
  2. Adaptability
  3. Leadership
  4. Creativity
  5. Resilience
  6. Communication, and
  7. Problem solving

When asked which of these seven core skills was the most important, problem solving was number one, ranking higher than creativity, leadership or communication.

However, when employers were asked to identify the skills that had become more important over the last 10 years, adaptability came out highest for 61% of employers.

Looking ahead, businesses say the most important skill they want to see in their workforce over the next 10 years is communication, with 35% of employers believing this will become ‘extremely important’ in the next decade. Adaptability followed in second place.

Kirstie Mackey, Head of  LifeSkills  created with Barclays, said:

“The workplace is changing. Today’s job-seekers are far more likely to find themselves facing a career ‘web’ that offers much more variation in the roles and sectors they can go into. With that comes a whole host of new opportunities, but it also means that core, transferable skills such as problem-solving have never been more crucial.

“It’s vital that the skill sets of the next generation match the attributes that employers are looking for. To achieve that, we need employers, educators and the Government to work together and agree a core set of transferable skills that the UK can put its support behind and provide the tools needed to upskill our workforce. Practical careers advice and skills building educational resources – such as those provided by Barclays LifeSkills – are the perfect starting point to do that.”

Table 1: Proportion of employers ranking each of the employability skills as the most important

Problem-solving

19%

Creativity

17%

Leadership

16%

Adaptability

16%

Resilience

12%

Communication

11%

Proactivity

9%

  

Table 2: Proportion of employers considering each of the seven skills as having become more important over the last 10 years

Adaptability

61%

Communication

54%

Problem-solving

52%

Proactivity

49%

Resilience

47%

Leadership

46%

Creativity

42%

 

Table 3: Proportion of employers considering which of the seven skills will become ‘extremely important’ in the next 10 years

Communication

35%

Adaptability

30%

Problem-solving

27%

Leadership

22%

Proactivity

20%

Resilience

20%

Creativity

20%

Research was carried out by NatCen on behalf of Barclays LifeSkills in July 2018. A total of 680 employers, all with an influence on recruitment at their organisation, took part in the survey. Employers belonged to a range of different sectors and industries and were located across UK regions. 

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About LifeSkillsBringing together educators, businesses, young people and parents to inspire millions of young people and equip them with the key skills to move forward into the 21st century workplace. 

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