An employment expert has suggested touch typing is a vital skill for those who work in offices – particularly as a secretary or a personal assistant.

Keith Wymer of Pitman Training said those who are out of work who cannot type at a reasonable speed will not even be looked at by a recruitment agency.

He explained secretaries or personal assistants should be typing at 70 words per minute (wpm) while administrators should be able to bash out around 45 wpm and IT professionals at least this figure also.

Mr Wymer also suggested it is important for workers coming from overseas to be trained on how to type with a Qwerty keyboard, which they may not be used to.

Meanwhile, a recent report published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills has suggested Britain must work harder to be in the top eight performing nations for skills in the world by 2020,

The report forecast that if things do not improve, by 2020 the UK is likely to rank 23rd on low-level skills, 21st on intermediate skills and tenth on high-level skills.