Never mind changing a plug, apparently some of us can’t even change a lightbulb! And we’re blaming schools for failing to give us these essential life skills.

Sewing, unblocking sinks and hanging wallpaper are up there, too – in a rather long list of practical skills that most of us are just not cut out for.

The shocking survey revealed that one in four Brits can’t change a lightbulb and also struggle with other household tasks such as sewing (26%), unclogging sinks (26%) and rewiring a plug (30%).

‘Most people don’t know how to change a lightbulb’

The research, by online lighting retailer Lightbulbs Direct, revealed just how many adults are unable to do tasks that are part of everyday life.

When asked who passed on this vital skills knowledge, mums and dads come out top – with over half of respondents saying it was a parent who taught them how to change a lightbulb.

By comparison, only 2% learned at school and over one in 10 were taught as an adult by their partner.

Looking into which life skills Brits wish they had learned at school, car maintenance came out top at almost 40% – followed by how to wallpaper or paint a wall (33%), and how to set up and pay for bills in third place at 31%.

Top 5 skills we wish we’d learnt at school

1.         Car maintenance (39%)
2.         How to wallpaper or paint a wall (33%)
3.         How to set up and pay for bills (31%)
4.         How to take out a mortgage (30%)
5.         How to set up a bank account (25%)

Tom Pratt, General Manager at Lightbulbs Direct, said about the findings: “Although it is a common joke about how many people it takes to change a lightbulb, it seems that many of us actually don’t know how to change one!”

And Jacqui Querns, of VAKS which provides educational support for children from the ages 4 to 18 years, adds: “It’s interesting to see that so many people wish they had been taught vital life skills at school.

[Related story: 8 simple DIY tasks every woman needs to know]

“It would be great to see schools taking a more proactive approach in equipping the younger generation to manage ‘grown up’ tasks, whether it’s putting on after school workshops or incorporating classes into Life Skills lessons.

‘Basic DIY and finance are vital skills’

“Although traditional subjects are vital, children should be encouraged to learn basic DIY and finance skills, from changing a lightbulb, to knowing what to expect when taking out a mortgage or even a bank account.

“This is important as it will help make them feel confident that they have the knowledge they need to become responsible adults.”

Do you struggle with DIY and general life maintenance? What do you wish you’d been taught at school? Let us know on the Comments below.