Mar 222016

The effect of a soft skills deficit is going to have a big impact on us all before long, and this will be of particular concern to parents. Latest warnings indicate that UK children are losing out to those in Asia, in terms of  getting a grip on the essential soft skills needed today. Unfortunately our education system is seriously stuck in the past…

In the past, education was about imparting knowledge. Today, it is about providing students with the tools to navigate an increasingly uncertain, volatile world.

Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, OECD

child sitting on books / skillsA serious bias towards short-term teaching to the test persists throughout the education system in the UK. This approach doesn’t give young people the soft skills they need to succeed now – the skills that employers are crying out for.

We will do the next generation a grave disservice if we fail to create an education for all that meets the needs of the 21st century workplace.

Kirstie Donnelly, UK Managing Director of City & Guilds

According to research by Development Economics Ltd, strong soft skills can boost an individual’s lifetime earnings by up to 15%, but in the McDonalds Backing Soft Skills report, it was estimated that more than half a million UK workers will be held back by soft skills deficits by 2020.

And it’s not only in the workplace that soft skills are determinants of success – they are crucial for personal happiness, particularly in times of rapid change.

What can parents do about the soft skills deficit?

Well, bang on the headteacher’s door, maybe?

And on the policy makers’, certainly.

And introduce more soft skills development into home life…keep an eye out for an upcoming post about this!

Meanwhile, check out Carol Dweck’s short and brilliant animation on how to help a child reach their potential.



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