Number 15: End the Dispute as to Whether Soft or Hard Skills Provision is Best for Jobseekers
The resolution of this long running dispute is not one for DWP alone, but there is evidence that employers, when seeking new staff, rate soft skills over hard skills when deciding whom to employ. Therefore, arguably most of the money spent on hard skills training for those out of work does little or nothing to help them get into work. Why not, therefore, focus Government spending for those out of work on soft skills and, given that such provision is relatively cheap, plough the remainder of the money into supporting the development of skills in SMEs.
Incidentally, the Voluntary and Community Sector and niche private providers are well placed to deliver effective, flexible and personalised soft skills support in accessible, welcoming community venues, unlike the usual suspects.
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My experience in placing those with severe and enduring mental health problems into employment was that the ability to get on with people ie the “social” was a key factor in success.