FULL LIST OF SOFT SKILLS

Recent research shows that soft skills can have a greater impact on an individual’s employment, earnings, and overall well-being than job-specific technical skills. In fact, employers globally report difficulty filling jobs because new recruits often lack soft skills. According to Child Trends, soft skills include “competencies, behaviors, attitudes and personal qualities that enable people to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals.” Researchers, educators and youth development practitioners use varying frameworks to classify the ‘most important’ soft skills. This is demonstrated by the multitude of names often considered synonymous with soft skills, including: non-cognitive, workforce readiness, life, behavioral, and 21st century skills (among others). Examples of the most valuable types of soft skills to youth and adult success are: social skills, communication skills, problem solving, critical thinking, self-control, and positive self-concept.

 

Early Childhood Engagement for Lifelong Learning

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

From conception to five years of age, early childhood is an extremely important period for cognitive and psychosocial development. Children’s high levels of brain plasticity and neurogenesis make them especially receptive to external stimuli. Young children’s minds are still learning how to learn, and simple play activities that stimulate the brain through all the senses can help improve their ability to think, communicate, and connect with others. Research from around the world suggests that guaranteeing such early childhood stimulation is critical.

The Skills that Matter in the Race Between Education and Technology

Brookings & World Bank

The threat of automation implies a race between education and technology. In most developing countries, education systems are not providing workers with the skills necessary to compete in today’s job markets. The growing mismatch between the demand and supply of skills holds back economic growth and undermines opportunity. At the same time, the returns to schooling are high in most developing countries, and growing skill premiums are evident in much of the world.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon: Empowering Youth to Serve as Agents of Change

The World Bank

There was silence in the room. No one seemed to want to speak up. I asked again: “what are the most important challenges that you face every day?” Suba, a young woman in her early 20s living in Tripoli, one of the regions with the highest poverty levels and concentration of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, finally raised her hand and said: “We are unemployed and have no access to basic services. We are sympathetic to the Syrian refugee cause. However, they are taking our jobs.

ADVANCING ADOLESCENTS: Evidence on the Impact of Psychosocial Support for Syrian Refugee and Jordanian Adolescents

Mercy Corps

Jordan is hosting one of the largest populations of Syrians in the region – more than 650,000 people, of which 28% are between the ages of 11 and 25. This refugee population faces severe challenges. A staggering 93% of refugees living outside the camps are under the Jordanian poverty line. Most are living in host communities absent strong family and social networks. Syrians also face tensions with Jordanians in host communities that are competing for scarce resources ranging from access to water, jobs and education.

The Power Skills in An Age of Disruption

Pyxera
“Almost 43 percent of the global youth labor force is either unemployed or working, yet living in poverty,” according to Global Employment Trends for Youth 2015 by the International Labour Organization. In countries with mature economies, nearly one in five students don’t acquire a minimum level of basic skills needed to be gainfully employed.
 

Handbook for Effective Incorporation of Social-emotional Competencies in Youth Employability Programs for Disadvantaged Youth

NEO

The handbook consists of three chapters. The first chapter explores the social and productive context and the social-emotional competencies and training objective that arise from this context. It also presents some approaches to defining these competencies. The second chapter explores the incorporation of social-emotional competencies into youth employability programs.

Examining Breadth of Learning Opportunities in 21st Century Education Systems

Brookings
What should children be able to learn at school? Are math, reading, and science enough for the 21st century? From the earliest learners to adolescents, students across age groups are missing out on critical learning opportunities. These opportunities are those that help us develop a range of skills, essential to tackle the challenges of our dynamic, rapidly growing world and transform us into our “better selves”—mindful, empathetic, critical-thinking, creative, and collaborative beings.
 

WEBINAR: Engaging Youth in Research

ORGANIZER: 
YouthPower Learning & American Evaluation Association (AEA)
DATE: 
Mar 15, 2017 (11:00am to 12:00pm)

Can Arts-Based Interventions Enhance Labor Market Outcomes among Youth? Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rio de Janeiro

RUHR Economic Papers

This paper provides findings of a small-scale, innovative labor training program that uses expressive arts and theatre as a pedagogical tool. The corresponding life skills training component is combined with a technical component teaching vocational skills. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of a training program constructed around expressive arts.

Resource Type: 
Paper

REPORT: Key Soft Skills for Cross-Sectoral Youth Outcomes

FHI 360, YouthPower Action

A growing body of evidence recognizes the importance of soft skills in predicting long-term life outcomes, including labor market outcomes as well as social and health behaviors (Heckman et al, 2006; Kautz et al., 2014). Soft skills refer to a broad set of skills, behaviors, and personal qualities that enable people to effectively navigate their environment, relate well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals. These skills are applicable across sectors and complement the acquisition of other skills such as technical and academic skills. Although the returns to cognitive and technical skills have long been recognized, recent literature suggests that soft skills rival cognitive skills in their ability to predict positive outcomes. Moreover, evidence suggests that soft skills are more malleable than cognitive skills among adolescents and youth adults (Heckman et al., 2006; Kautz et al., 2014).

Resource Type: 
Report

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