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London jobseekers have a surprising commitment to new qualifications and skills

16 March 2016

Lack of skills is often cited as a problem for the British economy, but a new survey of jobseekers in London shows a surprising commitment to gaining new qualifications and skills.

The survey, conducted by this week’s free skills and jobs exhibition Capital Talent, which is taking place at ExCeL London on Friday and Saturday, found that:

• 86% of Londoners were “likely” or “very likely” to study for a new qualification in order to get their next job.
• That’s more than would be willing to work for the national living wage (30%), travel more than an hour to work (62%) or work unsociable hours (46%).

Furthermore, skills training and qualifications are now a key part of what employers look for from employers:

• A large 77% of London jobseekers regard time off to do a job-related qualification as “important” or “very important” when considering their next job.
• 94% of potential employees regard opportunities for training more generally at work to be important or very important.

A modern workforce

Jobseekers are also keen that potential employers offer modern perks and working practices:

• 44% regard working from home part of the time as “important” or “very important” when considering their next employer
• the ability to work part-time hours is “important” or “very important” to 40% of prospective employees
• a free staff canteen is “important” or “very important” to 37%.

Willing to spin

The research also found that Londoners looking for jobs take action to improve how their history on social media and in their career looks:

• 18% have increased their social media privacy settings when applying for jobs
• 8% have deleted pictures
• 11% have suggested to a past employer what they should say in a reference
• 43% of Londoners looking for jobs have changed job titles on LinkedIn or on their CVs to make them “more relevant”

Capital Talent, taking place at ExCeL this weekend, Friday 18 and Saturday 19 March, is free to visit. Londoners wanting to improve their careers can go along and meet employers including Tideway, Sainsburys and Nando’s along with the capital’s top employment advisers and some of the best training companies. It will be a one-stop shop for anyone wanting to better their career, enter the workforce or train to gain the job of their dreams.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “The Capital Talent event represents a fantastic opportunity for adults to access a range of great work opportunities and for employers to find new talent. ‎It is also an excellent way for Londoners to develop new skills that will help them to progress their careers."

According to Mark Hilton of London First, which is one of the organisers of Capital Talent: “The job for life no longer exists so it’s encouraging that so many Londoners are keen to invest in extra qualifications and actively seek employers who will help them invest in their skills. That’s why the capital has the most talented workforce of any city in the world and continues to be a magnet for global business.”

Andrew Coates of Prospects, the employment, education and skills company who works with jobseekers across the capital and co-organises the event commented: “Capital Talent is a direct way for individuals wanting to upskill and improve their prospects to meet a wide range of employers and gain important careers information, advice and guidance.”

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Notes to Editor

About Prospects
The Prospects Group is a dynamic and enterprising organisation providing a wide range of tailored education, employment, training and care products and services in the UK and internationally. At the heart of what we do is the drive to improve the life chances, skills and aspirations of everyone we support. Each year we work with more than 500,000 young people and adults through our extensive range of high quality services.The Prospects Group has an annual turnover in excess of £80million and employs more than 1400 skilled and professional staff.

Prospects is the 13th largest employee owned company in the UK, is a Leader in Diversity, as awarded by the National Centre for Diversity and is number 71 in the National Centre for Diversity 2016 Top 100 Index

About Capital Talent

Capital Talent, on Friday and Saturday at the ExCeL Centre in London
It will link:

• Employers and future employees
• Universities and colleges with future students
• Training organisations with future learners
• Funding agencies with future entrepreneurs.

About the research

Capital Talent surveyed 1,008 Londoners searching for jobs between 26 February and 11 March 2006.

Media contact:
Alona de Havilland
PR Manager
07790 803882 or 01823 362804

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