Bosses blank on key skills

7th August 1998 at 01:00
Barely 50 per cent of employers have heard of key skills and only 40 per cent can name any of them, according to research by the Institute for Employment Studies, writes Harvey McGavin.

The report confirms that the concept of key skills - communication, application of number, IT, problem-solving, working with others, and improving own learning and performance - has failed to catch on among industrialists. Employers were confused about the difference between key skills and basic skills and many were unaware that the name had changed from core skills.

The report, Employers' Perceptions of Key Skills, found that despite the confusion over what key skills actually were, most bosses were sympathetic with their aims and believed that the ability to learn, communicate and work in a team were seen as important for successful employment.

However, information technology skills were not highly rated - a quarter of employers said IT was "not at all" or "not very" important.

The report says the lack of familiarity with the concept of key skills is "not really surprising as this initiative is still relatively new. Other studies have found that it takes a long time for developments in the education system to feed through to employers, even those developments that are directly relevant to them".

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now