The often quoted "skills gap" is beginning to get narrower, according to government-backed research based on interviews with employers around the country.
The number of English workers deemed by their companies to lack the essential skills for their jobs has halved, according to the research which involved 74,835 interviews with employers.
It revealed that six per cent of employees - 1.3 million people - are regarded as under-skilled.
The National Employer Skills Survey was commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills, the Learning and Skills Council and the Sector Skills Development Agency.
The interviews were conducted from May to August, 2005, the third year the survey has been carried out.