LONDON, February 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Britain today is a nation of 'plebs', ( ) but not as the Romans would have recognised. Today's 'PLEBS' are 'People Lacking Everyday Basic Skills' and nearly a million* British adults are affected, according to new research from WorldSkills London 2011. (

When asked about a range of simple everyday skills, one in five Brits admitted they would be unable to complete even a third of the tasks, while one in 20 said they could perform just one of the 15 skills presented to them.

Six in ten Brits are unable to treat a sprained ankle, while half admit they cannot carry out everyday tasks such as changing a car wheel (57 per cent), hanging wallpaper (51 per cent) or putting up a shelf (50 per cent). And a third of Brits do not know how to wire a plug (35 per cent).

To address these skills deficiencies, WorldSkills London 2011 is launching 'Have a Go', ( which will offer a million opportunities for people to improve their skills by learning from experts.

Executive Director of WorldSkills London 2011 Aidan Jones ( ) hopes that people across the UK will take advantage of the chance to learn something new that could prove to be a vital life-skill:

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"Our findings clearly demonstrate that there are some people in Britain who would struggle to complete some very basic everyday tasks. Things like this can catch people out: something as simple as not being able to turn off the main water supply in your home, which more than one in three people admit they couldn't do, could land someone in real trouble if there was a plumbing emergency.

"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 skills talent, we're also using this as an opportunity to inspire the whole of the UK about their future career possibilities. 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."

* Two per cent of people responded that they would not be confident doing any of the listed skills. Two per cent of the adult British population (48,836,200 according to ONS' 2009 estimates) = 976,724 people.