New research from Microsoft reveals that typing is still a core skill with significant importance in the workplace, school and socially. This is despite the constant evolution of technology and the expanding ways Britons communication through it.

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Almost one third of British employers (30%) say they will not hire someone if they can’t touch type and a further 43% view typing as a crucial work and life skill. The research suggests that more rigor is needed to equip Britons with adequate typing skills with many employers (41%), students (38%) and parents (29%) saying that there is not enough emphasis on typing skills at schools and universities.

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It may not come as a surprise then that 30% of employers say they have invested in typing training for their employees in the last 10 years.

Robert Epstein from Microsoft UK says: “Typing is a core life skill that can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to proper training. Our Typing Matters campaign aims to get children, students and parents to recognise typing as an essential ‘life skill’ in the modern world. But also more than that – that typing matters because it can help you achieve amazing things.

“The research has made it clear that having strong typing skills can put you ahead of the pack when it comes to securing a job and set you up for a successful career.”

More than a third of employers say that typing enhances productivity (38%) and ensures their business remains competitive (36%). Almost one fifth say their business could not operate if their staff did not touch type or type fast.

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The survey also uncovers that on average a British worker spends over three hours typing per day, which equates 48 full days a year and the average typing speeds of a British worker is 55.92 words per minute.

Though it appears that many (45%) British workers do not know how to type ergonomically and this has resulted in almost a quarter (24%) of employers saying they have received reports of typing related injuries including repetitive strain injury (RSI).

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Professor John Sutherland, author and Emeritus Professor of English Literature at UCL, commented:

“Typing is an incredibly important skill both in a personal and professional context. If it is a skill you lack, you are very much limiting your chances in the jobs marketplace. In my view, typing is a skill in short supply at all levels in our education system and everyone should aim for a minimum speed of 50 words per minute.

“My observations have found that typing-related injuries or 'strains' are far less common where the typing technique is relaxed, and that relaxation correlates with skilled touch typing. Typing properly is therefore not only important as a skill, but as a measure to minimise the chances of picking up an injury.”

To mark the launch of its Typing Matters campaign Microsoft is giving away free Mavis Beacon typing software with every Microsoft Keyboard or Microsoft Keyboard Desktop set. For more information about Microsoft’s Typing matters go to: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-gb/typingmatters

Additionally, our Typing Matters survey of parents whose children are in Years 7 to 13, gives a unique insight into the nation’s behaviour regarding this topic. See the full findings below: