Soft skills are getting on the radar…finally!
Mainstream recognition began with employers, unable to get the kind of employees they need, and pinpointing exactly what was lacking – soft skills.
Now it’s spreading further…A recent USA Gallup poll shows that there’s not only a growing awareness of what soft skills are, but also that the majority of Americans want them taught in schools.
In the UK, Nick Hurd, minister for civil society, caused a stir by suggesting that young people lack the necessary ‘grit’ to get work. His speech was in response to latest figures that show 1.09 million 16 to 24-year-olds are classified as NEETs (not in education, employment or training).
However, the problem he spoke about is not to do the young people per se, but rather with the failings of out-dated education systems and policies; fixated on a particular paradigm of measurement, they cannot handle soft skills…so they ignore them. Consequently young people are hopelessly ill-prepared for today’s world.
Hurd pointed out that “in survey after survey employers are saying qualifications are important, but that just as important to us are so-called soft skills.” OK, he’s still referring to them as ‘so-called’ but it’s a step in the right direction of recognition…
Now, if we can just get other ministers to see the increasingly urgent blip on their radar – and then get them to take action, before the repercussions of this wilful blindness hit another unsuspecting generation.
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