YEA Data Points

Top 10 skills, by mention in job adverts

The latest research from the OECD Skills Outlook 2021: Learning for Life highlighted the top 30 skills mentioned in job adverts. Interestingly, five out of 10 of the most desired skills are skills included in the Employability Skills Framework (2016). The Employability Skills Framework (2016) highlights skills or capabilities most desired in young people by New Zealand employers (e.g., Communication Skills, Teamwork, Self – Management, Thinking Skills).

“Positive Attitude” which is included in the Employability Skills Framework (2016) is not mentioned in the top 30 skills mentioned above nor in the top 12 skills, employers ranked as the most important for graduates (2018). Why has it dropped from the top skill desired by employers for the last ten years to not being in the top 30 skills in 2021? Also of note: these lists of skills were identified prior to the global pandemic – COVID -19. What would the list of most desired skills by employers look like now?

Further effects of COVID-19 might also be observed in the gaining of skills as disruptions to regular schooling may hinder skill development (OECD,2021). In the short term, the pandemic could lead to increases in early school leavers. In the medium and long term, lower engagement could result in the current generation of students failing to develop positive learning attitudes.