• Relevant for:
    Secondary, 16 - 19, 19+ and Professional Development
  • Cost:

When assessing the suitability of a job applicant for a new role, employers often need to balance a candidate’s job-specific technical skills and experience against other factors, such as their ability to work effectively in teams, communicate with others and solve problems. The latter are what we often term ‘transferable’ skills and are considered to be increasingly important attributes both in the current labour market and for the future of work.

To learn more about employers’ perceptions of these skills, Nesta and the City of London Corporation ran an exploratory survey based research project with 101 UK employers between November 2018 and January 2019. Our aim was to learn more about the value which employers place on transferable skills, which skills they prioritise and the evidence they look for to identify these skills during the recruitment process. We also conducted follow-up interviews with ten survey respondents to undertake a deeper analysis of some of these questions.

As an exploratory study, these findings point to several avenues for future research and actions for stakeholders working in the field. They also have a variety of implications for young people who will soon be entering the labour market and how our education system is preparing them for work.