Last updated: 04.03.15

Are young people being taught long-term skills?

Young people don't think the skills they are being taught now will be relevant to employers looking for entry-level candidates in ten year's time, according to new research.

The Future Work Skills 2020 report, released by LifeSkills created with Barclays, looked at the skills employers will be on the lookout for in entry-level recruits over the next decade.

The research involved conducting the bi-annual LifeSkills Barometer - a survey of 2,000 young people and their parents, which requires them to select the skills they believe would be crucial to employers in ten years.

It was revealed that those surveyed believed that IT skills, problem-solving and spotting mistakes, and working with people from different generations and backgrounds would be the top three skills required by employers over the next decade.

Contrastingly, businesses placed prioritising workloads, working in large teams and having skills in a broad range of subjects as the most important attributes in entry-level candidates in the future.

Kirstie Mackey, head of LifeSkills created with Barclays, said: “Almost 50 per cent of young people tell us they don't believe they are being taught the skills needed to be employable in ten years. This is unacceptable.

"As the experts in the area, and those likely to be most affected by a skill shortage, businesses must work with education providers and the government to ensure young people have the skills needed to succeed when they leave education.

"That's why we launched LifeSkills created with Barclays: to connect young people with local businesses offering work experience and to ensure they gain important employability skills in the classroom.”

From pre-school through to continuing education, Virtual College offers online learning resources and tools relevant to training at each level. We are currently producing a range of Career VOOCs (Vocational Open Online Courses) designed to allow young people to explore their career options and address skills gaps. To find out more, please visit: