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.

 

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

GUIDE: Youth Guide to the Global Goals, Dec 2016

Youth Service America

The SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. The new Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries - regardless of income - to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

Opinion: Why is Demand-Driven Training Like a Long-term Marriage?, Dec 2016

Fiona Macaulay, Devex

By demand-driven training, I mean those skills development initiatives that are customized to respond directly to specific requirements of a job role for an employer or a group of employers and place trainees into a job. I have taken a deep dive over the past five years into understanding what’s different about “demand-driven training” for disadvantaged young adults compared to other workforce development initiatives. For the demand-driven training model to work, training providers must have corporate partners ready to invest time and effort to align their values and objectives, overcome differences, and find ways to work well together.

REPORT: Latin American Economic Outlook 2017 Youth, Skills and Entrepreneurship, Nov 2016

The World Bank

The Latin American Economic Outlook 2017 analyses the attitudes, challenges and opportunities of Latin America’s youth. Youth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) aged 15 to 29 number more than 163 million – around a quarter of the region’s total population. The region’s once promising economy is now slowing down, challenging the social, political and economic progress of the last decade. As such, young people stand at a crossroads, embodying the region’s promise and perils.

Resource Type: 
Report

BLOG: Harnessing the Power of Youth: Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit, Oct 2016

PYXERA Global

This was the initial thought that crossed my mind as I approached this year’s Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit, the tenth annual conference presented by Making Cents International.However, these thoughts were quickly replaced by the acknowledgment that youth are more than the promise of the future. They are powerful individuals. Indeed, they are a force, and it is our collective challenge to ensure that they are a force for good. I walked away with the insight that four things are required to guide that youthful energy and vigor towards concrete opportunities: hard skills, soft skills, a vision for the future, and leaders prepared to guide and coach.

BLOG: 10 Lessons in 10 Years: Building the Youth Economic Opportunities Sector, Oct 2016

Making Cents International

A decade ago, I organized the first-ever global convening with the singular focus on how to increase the scale and sustainability of the youth economic opportunities sector. Fast forward ten years, to this past September, when 543 people from 53 countries gathered to share their knowledge, and celebrate the 10th anniversary of this event: The Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit. Clearly, we were on to something big. 

PRESENTATION: Emotional Intelligence for Economic & Social Success: We Know We Need It, But Can We Train for It? Sep 2016

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale University

While there is broad agreement on the value of behavioral skills as predictors for economic and social success, can these skills really be developed in education and work readiness training programs for youth? What does it take to mimic the kind of mentorship for young people that occurs in well-functioning families, in these programs and in the workplace? How can we better support youth economic opportunities with the integration of evidence-based practices to enhance emotional intelligence? Through a comparative discussion that draws on leading research from the U.S., and examples from our sector, this plenary will examine the impact of emotional intelligence training, and what these findings mean for youth training programs in development settings.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

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