About the project

PROJECT RATIONALE

Young people are still not properly prepared to enter labour market. In spite of many reports listing soft skills and competences mostly required by employers, in spite of closer cooperation between schools and companies, in spite of many tools and method available for young people wanting to gain soft skills.


Internationally, employers appear to be struggling to find young people with the skills they need. Over half (51%) of executives surveyed say a skills gap is hampering their organisation’s performance, and only 34% claim to be satisfied with the level of attainment of young people (Driving the skills agenda: Preparing students for the future is an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report, published 2015). A 2014 report by McKinsey, Education to Employment: Getting Europe’s Youth into Work, found that this gap could have a significant impact on firms’ performance, ultimately affecting the wider economy: 27% of employers surveyed for the report said they had left entry-level jobs unfilled because of a lack of applicants with required skills.


So, where is the problem?


Dr Helen Soulé, executive director of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) says ”..these new types of soft skills cannot be taught in isolation but must instead be suffused throughout the curriculum.” Nowadays, universities understand their task in the process of shaping soft skills of students. Soft skills courses are very often part of the study programs.But apparently, this is not enough. Andreas Schleicher, director of the OECD’s Directorate for Education and Skills, highlights, that soft skills can be taught through the traditional subject base—often more effectively than when they are self-consciously administered as a separate focus.


What can be solution for that?


according to Mr Rush. “The best way to teach 21st-century skills is to embed them in various aspects of the curriculum,” not to bolt them on as additional subjects.So, it would be the best solution – to incorporate teaching of soft skills to programs of regular subjects taught by academic teachers. What is the problem with such strategy? In the OECD research (2015), 31% of teachers stated that lack of proper training in the area of incorporating soft skills into traditional study programs (second biggest obstacle). Not all teachers are prepared for that. Most of them are researchers busy with research work, and when they started their teaching job – they were not required to be responsible for shaping soft skills of students.  
Unfortunately, academic teachers are the last group when it comes to supporting gaining soft skills by students. There is very little support for academic teachers, helping them to learn how to support students in this process.

PROJECT AIMS

 

- To develop system of tools helping academic teachers to be more successful in shaping of soft skills and competences of their students. Our goals:
- Equip academic teachers with skills and knowledge allowing them to shape soft skills of students during regular classes
- Change attitude of academic teachers and encourage them to support students in gaining soft skills
- Support teachers in the process of making their work more efficient and increase its quality
- Create an academic environment friendly with teachers' professional development towards increasing the efficiency of work with young people
- Develop tools widely available for academic teachers who want to improve their skills
- Initiate, in academic environment, discussion about possibility and advantages of shaping soft skills of young people during regular classes
- contribute to creation of more effective methods of gaining soft skills by students

This project has been funded with the support from the European Commission (project no 2018-1-PL01-KA203-050754).

This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

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