From education to employment

UK’s ‘second skills’ valued at more than £7.6bn to the economy

Millions of UK adults have ‘second skills’ estimated to be worth more than £7.6 billion to the economy, according to new research.

Figures released from the organisers behind the WorldSkills London 2011 competition reveal more than 16 million UK adults, 61 per cent of the population, have practical or vocational skills, such as tiling, painting, cooking, carpentry and plumbing, which could be used to forge a new career or start a new business.

Aidan Jones, chief executive of WorldSkills London 2011, said: “It is great to see that people are so diversely skilled and are using those skills to help boost the economy and develop their careers.

“WorldSkills London in October aims to open people’s eyes and capture their imaginations, allowing thousands to have a go at trying out a new skill, discovering their career aspirations and showing that you can achieve your ambitions through skills.”

The study shows more than 300,000 enterprising people with ‘second skills’ earn more than £5,000 a year and over a quarter earn more than £1,000.

A fifth of those who have second skills say they use them to earn more and 40 per cent enjoy using their skills as a hobby and nearly 31 per cent offer their services to friends and family.

Cooking dominates the second skills chart with more than 22 per cent of the people in the UK reporting to have mastered skills in the kitchen, followed by painting and decorating and childcare.

UK’s most famous stars with hidden second skills include Ozzy Osbourne – a closet plumber, David Jason – a mechanic, Daniel Day Lewis – a chippy, Bob Geldof – a Road maintenance worker, Eddie the Eagle Edwards – a Plasterer and Sharleen Spiteri – a Hairdresser.

Aastha Gill

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