September 29, 2017
Written by Mastercard Foundation, USAID, ILO Youth, Fomin
This post originally appeared on the Mastercard Foundation website.
Profound global changes in the use of technology and the nature of work have urgent implications for how we educate young people and prepare them for the labour market. Employers are increasingly looking for youth who are flexible, adaptable, proactive, creative and collaborative. In short, youth need soft skills: the broad set of skills, attitudes, behaviours and personal qualities that enable them to effectively navigate their environment, work with others, perform well and achieve their goals.
There is a growing awareness of the value of soft skills to both employee productivity and the healthy development of young people in general. The development of soft skills is deeply intertwined with academic and technical skill development. Though soft skills are increasingly seen to benefit youth in all domains of life, these skills are poorly understood, not well assessed, and too often overlooked in policy and institutionalcontexts, including education, training and the workplace.