Since late 2018 the CIPD has been part of the Essential Skills Taskforce alongside The Careers & Enterprise Company, Business in the Community (BITC), the Gatsby Foundation, EY Foundation and the Skills Builder Partnership.  The Taskforce was established to agree a universal framework of essential skills which clearly defines the skills needed to succeed in education, work and life.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive at the CIPD, said:

‘Skills and jobs are changing. But underlying every job are some essential skills, profoundly human in nature, which help us be effective. We need a common framework to understand them, and to promote them from education into work.’

Essentials skills are highly transferable skills such as listening, problem solving and teamwork. They will support people as they move from school to work, from entry-level to management roles and from a career in one industry to a career in another. They enable people to flex all their skills to adapt to change and are the foundations for developing new technical and job-specific skills, including digital skills.

The Skills Builder Universal Framework, developed by the Essential Skills Taskforce, is a clear, measurable and authoritative Framework that sets out how essential skills can be identified in practice. It provides a common language that both education providers and employers can easily understand and adopt.

The essential skills are defined as: listening, speaking, problem solving, creativity, staying positive, aiming high, leadership and teamwork. Hundreds of schools are already using the framework and many trailblazing employers are starting to adopt it too.

The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic uncertainty brings the importance of these skills into focus even more. As UK businesses and educators look to reshape and adapt over the coming months and years, they’ll need to ensure they are not only addressing the challenges at hand but preparing for the challenges that society will face in the future. Recognising and developing essential skills will be central to the UK’s recovery.

The Essential Skills Taskforce is calling on employers, educators and other organisations to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework to describe, recognise and develop the essential skills for young people, jobseekers and employees.

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About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.