Since I first started my teaching career I came across some new terminology, ‘Soft Skills’. I can clearly remember Googling it and I was in no doubt that these skills could make or break a person. When I started with Offender Learning, I kept hearing these ‘buzz’ words being used but couldn’t clearly see where. “Make sure they’re on your lesson plans and schemes of work”. I didn’t need to be told though. From the start I realised that by embedding soft skills within every single session I taught, I got not only massive respect from the learner, but also 100% success rate all the while I was there. I could clearly see these learners’ progressing and I am only full of praise for them.
So today, listening to the radio and the BBC news reader saying how important these skills are, I was taken aback. I have fully promoted soft skills and will always continue to as I feel that they allow each individual to begin building their own foundations for their future. What ever that future holds.
It’s not okay just to understand what ‘soft skills’ means. We, as Educators need to fully promote them. But to do this we need to have bosses and line managers etc, who really understand the effort and understanding each tutor/lecturer/educator will need to fully promote these skills.
I know only too well that sadly these skills are not used effectively in some educational departments. I could build up a learners positive attitude, communication skills and self-esteem etc only for one person to knock them down with their comments (or their need to go on a power trip).
Within my book I could not write about the employability journey without going on about these skills. Looking at the young people who come to me on the employability course, clearly many have not had anyone to help them to develop these skills.
Hopefully now that this is getting the deserved recognition, we can work together with the 16 – 24 year group to help them develop their skills and begin building their future.