One million PLEBS in UK are confused by modern everyday tasks

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

LONDON - A survey has found that one million Britons are left confused and helpless by easy everyday modern tasks like changing a tyre, hanging wallpaper and wiring a plug.

These people, known as PLEBS, People Lacking Everyday Basic Skills, have a tough time figuring out how to calculate credit card interest, and are left stumped by flat-pack furniture instructions and the way train tickets are priced.

The astonishing findings come from a survey by an organisation hoping to teach Britons how to complete basic tasks at a special skills Olympics in London later this year.

Of 2,023 people surveyed by WorldSkills London, 57 percent said they couldn’t change a car tyre, 51 percent had no idea how to hang wallpaper, 50 percent were unable to put up a shelf and just 35 percent were able to wire a plug.

Despite hard-won gender equality, gender stereotypes are alive and well among PLEBS, with just 28 percent of men able to hem a pair of trousers, and a mere 17 percent of women able to change a car tyre.

The generation gap has also worsened the PLEB problem, with 72 percent of 18-24 year olds confident at joining a wifi network and 77 percent able to install a printer on a computer.

However, just 9 percent of the same age group admitted they’d be unable to complete any of the tasks listed as basic skills, which also include poaching an egg and using first aid to treat a sprained ankle.

Aidan Jones, Executive Director of WorldSkills London warned Britain’s PLEBS were setting themselves up for “very serious” problems later in life.

“There is a very serious underlying message here that young people are leaving school without very basic practical knowledge they need to get on,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

“Things that used to be included in the curriculum are no longer included in the classroom, nor would it seem they are being passed on by the older generation.’

Jones urged PLEBS wanting to reform their ways to attend one of the “invaluable” events lined up by Worldskills London in the coming months.

“While London will host the WorldSkills London 2011 competition in the autumn, showcasing how skills shape our world and some of the best of the world’s skill talent, we’re also using this as an opportunity to inspire the whole of the UK about their future career possibilities,” he said.

“Between now and October, we’re urging everyone to get involved in the “Worldskills London 2011 Have a Go’ movement and try a new skill - it could prove invaluable,” he stated. (ANI)

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