Recognising which skills and qualifications are needed in order to make our present and future workforce competitive is vital. Some organisations have various training programmes in place for different qualification entry levels. Siemens is one of the largest electrical and electronics engineering companies in the world. It recognises that investing in training within its organisation through apprenticeships and graduate programmes gives it a competitive advantage. Training staff ensures the business has the right skills and minimises gaps in knowledge. By developing staff, they understand the business and feel valued by the company.

Developing skills does not only apply to organisations but also to education. A report by the British Academy states that a lack of language skills amongst British students means they are less competitive than their counterparts overseas. World research shows, 'these serious shortcomings and deficits undermine the government's objective of positioning the UK as a hub of international research.' The University college of London is already taking action to improve the situation. By 2012 it stipulates that all undergraduates will require a GCSE or equivalent qualification in a modern language for entry onto a course. The British Academy is keen for all universities to follow this example. (BBC 3rd July)