From education to employment

27% increase in Key Skills Qualifications

Young people and adults are increasingly gaining awards in Key Skills qualifications that employers, Universities and Colleges value highly, a statistical first release reveals today.

Key Skills are practical, applied skills that complement subject studies. As transferable skills for learning, work and life they include English, mathematics and ICT as well as personal and social skills.

The new figures show sustained growth in awards of key skills qualifications with 2.2 million made up to 2005/06 and achievements in that year 27% greater than in 2004/05. This means that those entering the workplace or further learning are better equipped.

The “main” Key Skills – Communication, Application of Number and Information & Communication Technology ““ were introduced as qualifications in 2000 and achievements have been rising by around 20% each year. The more recently introduced “wider” Key Skills qualifications – Problem Solving, Working with Others, Improving Learning and Performance – have risen by almost two-thirds in the latest 12 month reporting period.

Skills Minister Phil Hope said:

“Skills gaps are narrowing under this Government and we are now increasingly concentrating on helping people in posts become fully proficient for their jobs. In an increasingly technological and fast moving world skills in the workplace need to be wider than simply those needed for a specific trade or role. Everyone needs to be flexible and able to interact with demands of others around them.

“Key skills are part of our drive to improve peoples skills that enable them to functional effectively at work, in learning and in life. Over two million key skills awards represents a huge step forward in the way we equip people for the workplace. Employers are starting to see the difference and seeing that the transformation in the education system means that they can recruit people with the skills they need for productivity and competitiveness.

“We will sustain the momentum of achievement in the Key Skills as we build towards new forms of provision which build on them. New Functional English, mathematics and ICT qualifications will be introduced in 2010 ““ and these skills will also be required within reformed GCSEs, the new Diplomas and Apprenticeships. We are also embedding the Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills framework in the new Diplomas, the most significant education reform in recent times.

“This Government is changing the landscape of learning and putting in place a world class system fit for purpose, enabling this country to compete with the best in the world.”

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