|Beyond traditional exam results, 'soft skills' are increasingly important in the modern workplace. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images|
"employers are also telling us that they are looking for something else when it comes to an interview or an application form: something that is harder to put a finger on. The HR director of a FTSE 100 company described it to me as "character". According to the CBI, employability now consists of developing skills beyond literacy and numeracy. They cite people skills, self-reliance, teamwork, resilience, the ability to communicate well. These are the so-called soft skills that are increasingly important in the modern workplace. In a recent survey of employers, more than 60% said that they did not feel school or college leavers are developing the self-management skills they need for work."
"such a programme is called National Citizen Service. Designed for 16- and 17-year-olds, it mixes together young people from different backgrounds, and involves three weeks of team-building skills while living away from home, then returning to design and run a social action project in their community. So far over 30,000 young people have taken part and we expect that to at least double this year. I have spoken to many NCS graduates over the years and I am always struck by the similarity of what they say, usually "I never thought I could do that" or "I never thought I'd meet people like this". In my experience it can transform how a young person sees themselves, and it is hard to put a value on that.
NCS is of course not the only scheme helping young people to develop skills that will be useful in the future. The Scouts, Guides and Duke of Edinburgh awards have all been doing similar things for a very long time. But there are other relative newcomers such as City Year, Envision and vInspired who we are supporting young people develop through extracurricular activities.
Programmes like these are not a silver bullet, but if government, schools and employers can work with them effectively, I believe that they can add huge value to a young person's CV. That is why we are supporting the Campaign for Youth Social Action, which has cross-party support. It wants to double the number of young people involved in social action and make these valuable opportunities much more available at key points of transition in a young person's journey to adulthood."
as Univ. Teachers and Parents, we can/need to get some inspiration from such programmes and develop further teaching curriculum so our Uni graduates are better equipped in their job quests.