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Employers seek more of a 'can do' attitude from applicants rather than specialist skills, finds Virgin Media Business


Employers are calling for more from the next generation of office workers as traditional skill sets in corporate Britain change.

In an annual report carried out by Virgin Media Business with 5,000 companies, employees listed a 'can do' attitude (23%) as the most important asset in new recruits, followed by specialist skills in areas such as IT (19%), and higher education qualifications (12%).

To ensure the next generation of candidates have more skills under their belt, firms want to see increased investment in school hardware for teachers (22%). British business also want young people to become more comfortable working with technology from an early age with a fifth (21%) suggesting children should use more e-learning tools.

The majority of firms (60%) are planning for increased numbers of staff to work remotely in the next ten years. To prepare the new workforce for this change, nearly half of companies (42%) want children to incorporate remote learning tools for homework over the next decade.

Tony Grace, COO of Virgin Media Business, said: "The Education Minister has recently announced plans to overhaul the teaching of IT in schools. A move we welcomed. Our research shows there is a real desire for a workforce that has a blend of skills. A familiarity with IT is only going to become more important.

"We're already working with the LondonPSN to power a £200 million network that will change the delivery of public services in and around London. This is helping to provide a secure and comprehensive communications infrastructure, serving the needs of schools across the region via London Grid for Learning that will go some way to ensuring the change businesses want to see in the next generation of employees."

The research was carried out by LM Research and surveyed 5,000 directors / business owners from companies with 100+ employees between 12 December 2011 and 16 December 2011.