A skills watchdog has called for "publicly funded education and training" to help students become attractive prospects for companies and to ease the burden of skills training on employees.

A report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills has revealed that there are still a number of schools and higher education institutions which are failing to prepare students for future employment.

According to the Commission, there are certain aspects of training that make some programmes more successful.

These include training which is "based on real workplace practice" and preferably where the employer will themselves get involved.

Commenting on the current situation, Chris Humphries CBE, chief executive of the UK Commission said: "Despite decades of discussions around – and definitions of – employability skills, employers seem to be more worried than ever that many job candidates simply don’t have these skills."

The commission also found that training that was "practical and applied in nature" was most useful to students.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters recently predicted that graduate vacancies would drop by some 5.4 per cent in 2009.