No matter what you read these days about the world of work, the word that leaps to every employer’s lips is “skills”. Indeed Government ministers are focussed on creating and fuelling “a skills revolution for Brexit Britain” through a range of different measures. So what are skills exactly, as distinct from other competencies and how can you help your teenager prepare effectively for the workplace?
How we gain skills
Unlike talents or abilities which come naturally to individuals, skills are learned and come in two types – hard skills and soft skills.
“Hard skills” are specific abilities needed to carry out particular work activities. Hard skills are teachable and people learn them by following a course, through books or by being taught on the job.
- proficiency in a foreign language
- driving cars and specialist vehicles
- operating machinery, and
- computer programming
In contrast, the term “soft skills” refers to those skills related to working
- interpersonal skills
- problem solving
- a good attitude and work ethic
- emotional intelligence
- project management
- team working
- perseverance, and
- communication skills
Many of these are called
Why do employers value soft skills in particular?
Soft skills are particularly important to employers as they are more difficult to develop and, unlike hard skills can’t be taught in the same way.
Employers often talk about being focussed on hiring character and then training for skills, It is much easier to teach someone skills than it is to change a bad attitude or poor communication skills.
How can I best help my teenager prepare for being employed?
One thing’s clear about today’s world of work – the only constant
The following books will help you understand more about the topic so you can help your child develop the attributes they need for the future.
Stanford University Psychologist, Professor, Carol Dweck has spent decades researching into achievement and success. Her best seller, Mindset outlines the simple idea of growth versus fixed mindsets that makes all the difference and creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports
Jane Clarke’s book, Resilience, outlines how individuals can learn to bounce back from adversity and
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