The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) surveyed 500 London business leaders to compile the list, discovering that companies value numeracy and literacy more than they do some skills that can be learnt on the job.
Basic numeracy was top of the list of businesses’ desired qualities in candidates, with 92 per cent saying it was important to them, followed by 91 per cent stating the need for workers with fundamental IT skills.
Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the LCCI, said: “These results show that basic IT skills are assumed now, rather than a beneficial extra.”
Foreign language skills and advanced IT skills were the least looked-for qualities on a CV, but 55 per cent and 69 per cent of businesses still deemed them useful.
The most sought-after skills revealed by the research were:
- Basic numeracy
- Basic IT
- Problem solving
- Literacy and written communication
- Team working
- Time management
- Technical/job-specific skills
- Customers and sales
- Commercial awareness
Although leadership skills didn’t make the LCCI’s top 10 list of desirable qualities, 72 per cent of firms still valued it highly.
Some 82 per cent pointed to management and interpersonal skills as being a key requirement, as well as 85 per cent deeming customer and sales skills vital abilities for a candidate to possess.
“Technical skills and customer and sales skills are hugely important,” Stanbridge said. “This is exactly why the government needs to press ahead with the devolution of training for 16-18 years, vocational capital investments, careers information, advice and guidance, as well as the apprenticeship levy, starting with unspent levy funds.”
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