Schools 'must teach more soft skills'

6 September 2006
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07 September 2006 | Paul Snell

Education is not equipping school leavers with the "soft skills" that employers require, according to reports last week.

The quarterly Labour Market Outlook survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and KPMG, found soft skills such as the ability to communicate, work ethics and personality are now valued more than literacy and numeracy.

"Schools are getting better at enabling young people to gain academic qualifications, but are failing to equip them with broader employability skills," it said.

Almost half of firms surveyed said schools should improve pupils' interpersonal skills; 40 per cent wanted them to teach pupils to take more responsibility; and 38 per cent desired better communication skills.

A report by the CBI, Working on the Three Rs, said soft skills were "of increasing importance". A spokesman told SM: "Employability is not just academic. Employees need to be able to relate to people."

SMsep2006

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