THERE is much being made currently of basic skills that many people under the age of 34 don’t have today.

In fact, the Good Housekeeping Institute – which began in 1920 – has just held a study of young people which paints an often depressing picture.

The survey assessed the abilities of 2,000 younger people in carrying out what GHI saw as traditional household skills. These were compared to the skills of their parents. For example, 60pc of the young people could sew on a button compared to 93pc of parents.

Only 55pc could deal with a blown fuse compared to parents’ 90pc and only 33pc could shorten a hem compared to 66pc. In fairness, 86pc could iron a shirt compared to 99pc although only 51pc could hang wallpaper compared to 68pc and 67pc could unblock a drain compared to 83pc.

What this suggested to GHI was that, with so many people in their 20s and 30s now living at home, they have simply not needed to learn these skills. And there lies the problem.

Many adults seem to have removed the expectation that their children would be independent and self-sufficient and are turning them into a dependent generation. In other words, it’s not completely young people’s fault that they are unable to check a tyre or make a white sauce – no-one has asked them to.

Anyone above their middle-30s is likely to have been expected to know how to clean the dishwater filter, sharpen a knife or empty a vacuum cleaner bag because they’ve just had to get on and do it. Often, they have learned at home when parents insisted, knowing that very soon they would be leaving home and have to do these things for themselves.

Without that expectation, I think that the dynamic in many families now means that too much is done for the children remaining at home and this has depleted their possible skill-sets.

Some of the skills making up this study – doing hospital corners on a bed or de-scaling an iron – might tax the average adult. Personally, I can’t put up a shelf properly and my drain-blocking skills are pretty poor. But it doesn’t alter the fact that the skills that do need instilling during growing up appear to be lacking for a significant number of the younger population.

And that the blame for that must now lie fairly and squarely with us, their parents.