The National Youth Agency is backing McDonald’s report on soft skills. The report, published today, calls for a framework to embed soft skills into education and learning, so vital are they for employment and the UK economy as a whole.
NYA is a key partner in McDonald’s campaign. Deputy CEO Jon Boagey who advised McDonald’s on the importance of soft skills to young people, said;
“We support a framework to promote the importance of soft skills – they should be a crucial part of young people’s education. They are worth billions yet are often overlooked in favour of academic qualifications.
“This an educational challenge which schools don’t have to resolve themselves. Soft skills, and developing young people’s abilities around them, should be a statutory part of the curriculum. Youth work has a key role to play in helping young people develop skills such as social and emotional learning, and can also support young people in school. This is a win/win; these skills also help enhance young people’s academic abilities and encourage greater academic success.”
Case study: Developing soft skills by helping others
Kate Stanforth, 21, suffers from ME; a chronic fatigue condition which means some days she can’t even sit up. Yet despite her fatigue her hospital stays inspired her to develop Project Parent, an initiative designed to support mums and dads when their children are in hospital, with a goody bag of pampering treats.
Kate received funding from O2 Think Big and, as part of the programme, also the support of Alex, a youth worker for the National Youth Agency. In driving Project Parent forward, Kate not only developed and utilised her own soft skills but also helped develop them in others. Managing 15 volunteers remotely has helped Kate to develop a flexible approach to problem solving as well as time management, juggling her project with her exams and health needs.
Knock backs affect her physically but thanks to the support she’s received Kate’s developed the confidence and resilience to handle the challenges that come her way. She says, “I used to need reassurance but now I’m confident in making my own decisions. Alex nudges me to do more and his backing provides me with the confidence that I’m on the right track.” Kate’s project was a huge success, and she was granted further funding to roll it out in hospitals in Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol.