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ERIC Number: EJ877423
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
Softly, Softly
Diamond, Abigail
Adults Learning, v20 n3 p26-27 Nov 2008
The term "soft skills" encompasses a cluster of personality traits, language abilities, personal habits and, ultimately, values and attitudes. Soft skills complement "harder", more technical, skills, such as being able to read or type a letter, but they also have a significant impact on the ability of people to do their jobs and on their "employability". In the global economy, where innovation is vital to the ability to adapt to fast-changing conditions, employers acknowledge the importance of "soft skills", including creativity and adaptability. A recent survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) observes that students and universities would be "surprised by just how much employers also value the "softer" skills that make people more employable". The National Employment Skills Surveys, published by the Learning and Skills Council, also demonstrate that the most important areas of skills shortages identified by employers include "mainly soft skills, such as communication, team-working and problem-solving". With increasing recognition of the importance of these softer skills comes a need to better understand the process through which they are acquired. In this article, the author argues that informal adult learning in the workplace represents the best way to cultivate soft skills. She discusses how to acquire and develop soft skills in the workplace.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom