What skills do adults want to learn?

Life is funny. No one gets a handbook upon turning 18, complete with all the rules they’ll need to memorize and competencies they’ll need to acquire.

Almost two-fifths (39%) of adults would like to be better cooks or bakers, according to a survey commissioned to launch a festival of learning. And almost a quarter (23%) of the 1,018 UK adults questioned said they would love to learn a musical instrument. Half told researchers for the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), they would be willing to take a course to boost their skills. The top 10 skills respondents expressed an interest in acquiring also included learning a language, singing and photography.

Learning and development courses in skills that excite people help them build vital soft skills such as time management and communication. And a report published in January found that soft skills contribute £88bn to the UK economy. The same report, from research group Development Economics, warned that employers need to find new ways to recognise and improve soft skills or they risk undermining the productivity of more than half a million workers by 2020.

Here’s the list of the top 10 skills people would love to learn:

1. Cooking and baking (39 per cent)

2. Playing a musical instrument (23 per cent)

3. Learning a language or languages (21 per cent)

4. Singing (17 per cent)

5. Photography (15 per cent)

6. Dance (13 per cent)

7. DIY (13 per cent)

8. Art (11 per cent)

9. Gardening (11 per cent)

10. Creative Writing (11 per cent)

For me, I’ve got a couple down already. Looks like dance will be my biggest challenges especially with two left feet! But never try, never know so here goes.

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