Understanding Commercial Ability

Basics for Life

Fundamental skills that everyone needs for work… and life.

What are they?

Basic skills are vital for a successful personal and work life. They comprise literacy, numeracy, digital skills and personal financial literacy. These are the foundation for all types of future learning. They form the basis for future employment and a fulfilled life.

Why are they important?

Recent surveys show that 49% of working people have the numeracy skills of primary school children, and 43% have literacy skills equal to GCSE grades D-G. Government research reveals that some digital skill is required in at least 82% of online advertised jobs. Further research reveals that just 67% of UK adults have sufficient financially literacy to manage their finances.

What do they look like?

Literacy and numeracy are part of the UK education system. But in-demand basic digital and financial literacy skills are often neglected. Both should start early and be encouraged inside and outside of education. Digital skills are evolving and need continual updating to include design tools, CRM systems and AI. Financial skills should be introduced to build on numeracy and can then be directed to more work focused applications.

What difference do they make?

Basic skills are essential. It is estimated that average 18-year-old with very poor literacy skills will earn £33,000 less during their working life.

Basics for Life is the critical foundation for gaining Commercial Ability. With them individuals, organisations and the economy can reach their full potential. Their significance goes beyond an individual’s employability to impact their ability to access essential services and thrive within society.

Basics for Life in context:

Commercial Ability Cycle

The Components of Commercial Ability

Commercial Ability is comprised of five inter-dependent and mutually-reinforcing components.

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