In 2018, the City of London Corporation commissioned Nesta to carry out an exploratory survey research project looking at UK employers’ perceptions of transferable skills in the workplace. The findings of the research were launched at the City of London’s Future Cities event in June 2019.
From previous research in our Future of Skills: Employment in 2030 report, we already know some of the transferable skills that are likely to be in demand in the future: from interpersonal skills to critical thinking and complex problem solving. The findings from our research with the City of London Corporation allow us to take stock of what employers value here and now – a timely snapshot of the skills they prioritise, and some of the challenges they experience when identifying these skills in job applicants.
The survey was conducted with 101 UK employers who had been responsible for hiring someone in the last three years. Some of the key findings from this research include:
More detail on the methodology and findings of this research can be read in the final report.
The results of this survey should speak to young people who are moving into the world of work and those stakeholders responsible for helping them get there. For young people to navigate the career paths of the future, it is essential they develop the transferable skills that employers value and broader skills to thrive in life. Given the rapid changes in the labour market, job-seekers also need to develop emotional resilience and learn to adapt to these changes.
At Nesta, we are already working to support young people to develop some of the skills highlighted in this research, like communication and teamwork. Through our Future Ready Fund we are supporting innovations that work to build social and emotional skills in young people, which we know to be important to employers. We’re also working to help teachers better understand skill demands by producing resources for use in the classroom.
Our research with the City of London aligns with one of Nesta’s key goals in education: to ensure that all learners are equipped with the skills needed to thrive in the future world of work. To do this successfully, we need to learn more about the skills that are in demand, both now and in the future.