The most sought after skills in the UK job market are human attributes such as communication and teamwork, according to an analysis of 21 million job ads globally.
Learning company Pearson used artificial intelligence to scour the adverts, finding that the top five skills sought by recruiters are: communication; organisation; customer service; attention to detail; and teamwork.
It found that while many companies seek specific technical skills for jobs, these change so rapidly that they often have a short shelf life. They can also be taught, so employers tend to value human skills over technical experience or qualifications.
Using data modelling to predict what skills might be in demand in 2026, Pearson suggests that employers will still be keen to attract candidates with solid soft skills. The top five skills they will look for in four years’ time will be: collaboration; customer focus; personal learning and mastery; achievement focus; and cultural and social intelligence.
Mike Howells, president of Pearson Workforce Skills said employees will need to retrain their technical skills frequently to keep pace with technology.
“Employers are now realising that human skills are the power skills that really help people stay relevant and adaptable in a changing world,” he said.
“Businesses need to act now to help employees upskill and employees need to adopt a mindset that helps them learn across their lifetime, as a strong foundation of human skills is essential for success for employers and employees both now and in the future.”
Pearson used AI and predictive analytics to look at census, workforce and recruitment data across the UK, US, Australia and Canada.
The company’s findings chime with research published today by Make UK, which found that two-thirds of manufacturing companies want to see more ‘human’ leaders.