New research from edtech company Instructure (NYSE:INST) has revealed that educators and business leaders believe UK is suffering from a soft skills crisis, threatening the productivity of UK Plc.
The Instructure Skills Study: preparing for the 2030 workplace report, which draws from a Censuswide study, shows that about 68% of secondary school teachers and 64% of businesses believe that lack the soft skills needed to be successful in the workplace.
Approximately seven in ten of all surveyed believe that soft skills do not get enough attention in the much-publicised UK skills crisis debate.
Interpersonal soft skills – that is having empathy, being a good listener, supporting colleagues and critical thinking – are the top skills that employees need to be successful, according to recent industry research.
Despite this, the analysis from Instructure shows that educators aren’t currently delivering on these needs.
Hard skills may be given unnecessary attention
The report also poses that the problem is not simply that soft skills don’t get enough attention: hard skills may be getting too much.
Around three in five teachers and business leaders feel that schools and universities prioritise hard skills, that is technical abilities and subject-specific disciplines, at the expense of less technical, but highly valuable soft skills.
Skills that business leaders believe to be most critical in the workplace today are problem-solving, and collaboration and teamwork.
Digital literacy and critical thinking are also both highly prized by employers.
Conversely, only 11 percent of business leaders and teachers consider holding a university degree to be important and speaking a foreign language was seen as even less important.
Sam Blyth, Senior Director, Education, EMEA at Instructure, said: “It is clear the UK is suffering from an overlooked soft skills crisis, which threatens to make employees less productive and ultimately negatively impact on the prosperity of business.
“Our report calls for closer collaboration between industry and academia in order to fuel the workforce with better skilled graduates.
“Instructure delivers flexible, easy to use learning technology to businesses and schools, designed helps students of all ages develop transferable skills – encouraging independent learning and powering time management, research and critical thinking skills.”
Pic: Outsourced Events/Instructure CanvasCon
Kate Frazer is a reporter for Global Education Times with a focus on UK/Ireland and North American education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Kate spends her time as an English and Maths tutor, and is currently pursuing her PGCE in Secondary Mathematics.
You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org