Times have changed and old skills such as darning socks have been replaced by new ones such as searching the internet. A KAZ survey has turned up the Top 50 skills people need for modern life, and this is your workforce today...
You no longer need to be able to make a fire using two dry sticks, skin a rabbit, or even wield a soldering iron, but you still need certain skills to cope with modern life. According to a survey of 2,000 adults by UK-based OnePoll.com, the top four life skills are now searching the internet, operating a mobile phone, connecting to Wi-Fi, and mastering online banking.
Other tech skills -- using the word loosely -- include using a USB charger and an SD card, uploading photographs, downloading music, and booking cheap flights. It seems you also need to know how to use Facebook, eBay, Amazon, Google Maps, Skype and Twitter. The Top 50 list is below.
It's hard to believe that the ability to plug in a USB cable counts as a "skill". Presumably it is or Apple wouldn't have developed a port that removes the difficult challenge of getting it the right way up. Perhaps Apple babies will no longer need to practice putting wooden blocks in differently-shaped holes….
Are people who struggle to plug in a USB cable just not tech-savvy, but would still be able survive in the wilderness? The list's non-tech skills suggest not. They include learning to cook, reheating food in a microwave, and "How to order at fast food restaurants".
The extent to which modern life has been dumbed down is illustrated by a companion list of the "Top 20 skills no longer essential to know". This is headed by darning and kitting, but includes putting up a shelf, writing letters, and speaking a foreign language.
But many of the adults surveyed don't see the shift from physical to virtual skills as a dumbing down. Indeed, "85 percent of Brits think modern technology has simply changed the skills we need, with a third believing we are actually more skilled than previous generations." However, "six in ten Brits admitted they would struggle to do some of the 'outdated' skills."
The survey was undertaken for KAZ (from Keyboard A to Z), which provides software that quickly teaches people to touch-type. Happily for the company, touch-typing is still an important life-skill, and hasn't been replaced either by different approaches (eg Swype) or by voice dictation.