In a recent survey, employers have identified that the skills they need the most in an employee and have difficulty finding, are basic core life skills. Just learning these could improve a persons employment prospects. In the future (already happening in fact!), people are less likely to find a job for life and a person’s skill set has to be flexible and adaptable. Elementary jobs are declining, as are public sector jobs (in Portsmouth especially) and higher level vocational skills will be needed to meet specific growth industry vacancies. What about those at the other end, with low educational achievement and low confidence? They may be needed now to work in office or retail and managers or leaders, not necessarily possessing “hard” skills. However, 90% of jobs will need IT skills, even to apply for a job these days you need to know how to switch on a PC and get on-line. Higher up, jobs are being doled out to meet a productivity problem, but maybe all that’s needed is a efficiency check, give teams a bit of know how and time saving techniques. Employers are looking for team work, determination, an ability to problem-solve, passion and creativity. Measured risk taking is a bonus but mainly, employers want to foster an enterpreneurial spirit in all staff, bringing about a revolution of “intra”preneurs, carrying that spirit into the office within an existing organisation. Those of us that are entrepreneurs must think about how we can use our businesses to give access to training and employment, a more socially responsible way of creating jobs. Do school leavers possess a strong work ethic or enthusiasm to enter the world of work? Are they reliable, ambitious and self-confident? Can they manage their time and are their communication skills satisfactory to build lasting business relationships? Our aim must be surely to widen the talents of the workforce and to rescue those who missed the relevance of these skills, helping them to see that learning these core life skills is a big step towards the next step. We must make sure that a lack of work-readiness doesn’t wipe out the prosperity of a whole generation, age 19-64. In a world of an increasingly diverse business base, there must be a diverse skill set to match but we clearly need to start with basic core life skills.