For a long time the business world has been asking colleges, trade schools and universities for graduates that are well versed in soft skills. As time goes by the K-12 educational institutions are now realizing that they need to start soft skills training way before college.
In a recent article by Amy Myska (see at following website (http://www.thenorthwestern.com/story/money/companies/state-of-opportunity/2014/11/28/qa-advice-middle-high-school-students/19639851/) suggests that high schoolers can improve their career potential by learning soft skills early. -We have seen a growing demand from Wisconsin employers asking for help in finding job candidates that have professional “soft skills” to effectively work with both customers as well as their workers in a work environment,- she stated. -It is also important to stress the importance of education at all ages. Many students have a belief that school “doesn’t really count until high school. “However, it’s the grade levels prior to high school that set the foundation for learning not only skills but also behavior. Making education a priority also sets the stage for positive work behaviors for their future- she added.
A study by Dan Jones & Associates Poll For The State Of Utah stated also suggests more opportunities for businesses professionals to teach in schools, as well as internship opportunities for student. (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865617538/Utah-students-grossly-unprepared-for-workforce-study-says.html)
In an article by Tisha Green Rinker titled -Why Developing Soft Skills during High School Matters- (http://www.connectionsacademy.com/blog/posts/2014-12-01/Why-Developing-Soft-Skills-during-High-School-Matters.aspx) she does an excellent job explaining a few simple soft skills activities for high school students. Here they are: * Volunteer as a tutor or mentor. As the saying goes, -To teach is to learn twice.- When you teach others, you’re constantly learning new things and new ways to learn. * Identify a specific new skill to learn and the steps required to learn it. Whether you want to learn to play a guitar or master a programming language, teaching yourself new skills builds your confidence and the habits of independent learning. * Attend free public events at local colleges, museums, libraries, or music academies. Be intentional in your television viewing and web surfing, -curating” your content to expand your worldview or dig deeper into subjects that interest you. * Read, read, read.
Businesses and schools are now realizing that basic soft skills can be taught and understood by K-12 students. Life College located in Tustin, California has been successfully teaching Job Readiness to young adults with intellectual disabilities including, but not limited to, Autism, Fragile X, Brain Injury, and other Developmentally Delayed Learners. The 2-year program prepares students to find employment and teaches them self-advocacy and conflict resolution in their daily lives. The program at the school gives the students the confidence to perform everything from personal planning to money management.
Once soft skills are taught to K-12 students it will create a foundation for students who will eventually be in the workplace, whether they go to college or not.
Jim Stedt is a partner at The Business SoftSkills Company (GetSoftSkillsNow.Com) located in Santa Ana, California. They provide job readiness and workforce success videos for education, business, prisons and individual use. Training is available online, on DVD, or through an affiliate program. These products are the most complete and concise soft skills training packages now available for the price of an average college textbook.