My First Skills Based Education Blog – Why am I doing this?

Thinking Holistically In Skills

Well this is my first attempt at a blog. I have been meaning to do this for some time but I have not quite found the time to write my thoughts down.

Why skills based education?

If you have read my bio you will have seen that I have had the opportunity to work in recruiting Graduates to a Management Trainee Programme. When I interviewed many of these prospective employees it was apparent within the first couple of minutes of the interview that they did not have what it takes. Although they were infinitely more intelligent than I could ever hope to be, they lacked the most important thing which was basic skills. Over the last 10 years since this became apparent to me I have heard many different ways of naming these skills including, Employability Skills, Work Skills, Human Skills and possibly even Life Skills. To me though Life Skills means something slightly different which I will concentrate on in another blog. ‘Soft Skills’ (#SoftSkills) is the buzz name for this educational need at the moment.

The lack of these soft skills in young people is what made me give up my job in business and become a teacher. That is where I want to make a difference. I am now working for ASDAN Education (@Asdandeducation) who are a national awarding body providing skills based learning programmes, curriculum’s and qualifications. I work as a National Development Co-ordinator which means that I get the opportunity to work with education providers to deliver skills based learning to young people. My ideal Job!

Why are ‘Soft Skills’ important?

This week Entrepreneur and Businessman James Caan has thrown his backing behind a campaign and consultation led by McDonald’s, and supported by the CBI, on #SoftSkills. James Caan followed this up in his blog where he identified the following skills that he looks for when appointing new employees. They are; communication, teamwork, decision making, taking responsibility and time management. He also said in a Radio 4 interview that he would take on an employee with good soft skills over someone with a degree. I am sure that if someone had a degree and soft skills they would be a preference over someone without a degree but it does raise an interesting question. Is education set up in this country to let our young people down? Going back to what I said earlier in this blog, and due to James Caan’s comment, this leads me to believe that education is not helping young people develop soft skills which are much needed in the workplace.

This is what I know therefore about why a skills based education is important to the young people in this country. This is why I will be using this blog and my position at ASDAN to spread the positive message about skills based learning opportunities.

Please check out my next blog where I will be looking to give more explanation to the question raised in this blog; Is education set up in this country to let our young people down?


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