Lack of English skills is preventing them from getting jobs
Lean towards a plural verb here, and (English) skills becomes the subject and and so "English skills are preventing them from getting jobs."
CLOSE DOWN THIS FORUM!
'lack' is the subject, hence, singular verb.
decide whether you are referring to a single unit, or two people, and the verb is singular or plural accordingly:
Each couple was asked to bring a plate to the party.
(In a dance competition): The couple is/has been disqualified.
The winning couple has one week to collect the prize.
Otherwise, plural verb.
Seems straightforward till we hit:
The couple is buying a house. It seems forced and odd-sounding; and I would defy that authority and write, "The couple are buying (their first home)."