Report: Creating Opportunity, Rewarding Ambition

Version 2

    Lack of employability skills fuels unemployment crisis


    Poor work attitudes among the long-term unemployed are the major barrier to tackling Britain’s jobless crisis, according to a major new report published on Tuesday, July 5.


    Based on a survey and extensive interviews with employers, the report says that a commitment to hard work, presentation and punctuality is more important than literacy and numeracy skills when firms fill “entry level jobs”, such as the hotel and restaurant trade, retailing, catering and manufacturing, typically staffed by unskilled workers. Such jobs make up about a third of the total UK workforce of around 27 million.

    “Eighty two per cent of entry level employers rated attitude and work ethic as important to progression versus 38 per cent for literacy and numeracy,” the report says.

    Asked why they turned down applicants for unskilled jobs (which make up about one third of the workforce), 62 per cent of employers cited “poor work attitude and ethic” and 57 per cent said poor presentation. This compares with the 29 per cent identifying lack of academic skills.

    A key recommendation from the CSJ is that schools should add a fourth “R” to their traditional prescription of reading, writing and arithmetic. The new element should be “responsibility”, meaning that teenagers should be taught how to conduct themselves in the workplace. A commitment by wider society to tackle social breakdown by, for instance, rebuilding the family unit, would also help foster responsibility among job seekers.

    The report also says that the state-run Jobcentre Plus offices should follow the example set by commercial and charitable employment agencies and devote much more of their time and effort working with employers to find out their recruitment requirements.

    The report, Creating Opportunity, Rewarding Ambition, which was sponsored by Manpower, comes against the background of mounting concern over persistently high jobless rates, particularly among the long-term unemployed.




    For  more information on this report go to the CSJ website