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Home > News > January 2007 > 17 January 2007

Report focuses on customer service & language skills

UK employers feel that new recruits lack workplace customer service and languages skills and that greater attention to developing these skills is needed in schools and colleges, according to a new report - 'Skills for a World Class Service' - launched by GoSkills, the Sector Skills Council for Passenger Transport.

GoSkills is the Skills for Business network's lead on customer service and languages and, to gain a greater understanding of the current state of affairs, GoSkills worked with organisations such as Head Teachers into Industry (HTI), the National Centre for Language Skills (CILT) and the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) to research the skills gaps that exist and the ways in which schools can work more closely with business to benefit young people and employers.

The results of this work are contained in 'Skills for a World Class Service' which has been produced by Assistant Head Teacher Patsy Hodgson.

Peter Huntington, GoSkills' chief executive, said: "This report shows that we need to raise awareness of the links between language skills and employability. It highlights the importance of preparing young people for sustainable future employment and the need to embed customer service and soft skills into the curricula.

"We have found that, while employers need recruits to have language skills, many of those emerging from the UK education system do not have the required proficiency and some employers will look to the global market to meet their need."

MPs and guests from business and education attended a launch event for the report held at the House of Commons.

Lord Dearing, author of a recent interim report on languages, commented: "I am very glad to attend this launch. I would say that it matters that employers size up the importance and value of people who can speak more than English because I believe that it will become increasingly in their business interest and the interest of their work people that they have this skill and nowhere in work is that more relevant than in travel and tourism.

"I hope that GoSkills will weigh that very heavily in their thinking about what should be embedded in the specialised diploma which will be launched in due course and is part of the planning for the future. I would welcome an opportunity to discuss that with GoSkills."

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