Skills learnt at university aren’t important to most employers, but soft skills and general attitudes are, according to a new report.

Kaplan surveyed 198 employers and asked them to rank a list of 30 recruitment-stage competencies. Soft skills, such as being a team player, which ranked third, came above technical knowledge, which sat in 24th place. Confidence placed fifth and being analytically-minded came sixth. Effective communication is the most desired competency, reports

However, technical knowledge rises to second place in the wanted competencies list after two years of employment.

Stuart Pedley-Smith, head of learning in the UK at Kaplan, said a university degree signals to employers that someone has a fairly high level of competence.

“On the whole, we found that the employers we surveyed do not recruit graduates for the subject-specific nature of what they learned at university,” he stated. “There is a well-known saying within recruitment – ‘Recruit for attitude and train for skill.'”

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) added that its own research reveals that 89 per cent of UK firms believe that when hiring graduates, their characters and attitudes towards work are the most important factors, reports

Rob Wall, CBI head of education and employment policy, stated that in order to tackle the skills-gap crisis, the education system needs to better prepare people for the work place by teaching them both soft and hard skills.