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Poor literacy spells disaster for job hunters

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Gum chewing, flirting and dress code are policed more actively than poor spelling and grammar, despite employers saying they are frustrated by mistakes on CVs and application forms.

Over half of the managers surveyed by the Department for Education and Skills complained about job candidates making errors such as mixing up ‘their’, ‘there’ and ‘they’re’ on applications, and were concerned about the more frequent appearance of ‘ain’t’ and ‘gonna’.

However, while the majority claim to take basic literacy “very seriously”, almost half made issues such as dress code and flirting a bigger priority.

“Concerns around the level of reading, writing and maths skills should be right up there with managing absence and staff morale,” argued skills minister Phil Hope, who believes employers have a vital role in helping staff improve basic skills.

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