Soft Skills, Life Skills, Non-Cognitive Skills: What We Know and Need to Know About...

We know that navigating a complex changing world -- and world of work -- will require young people to not only have hard skills, but also the skills to be resilient, lifelong learners and leaders. Measuring the acquisition of soft skills and employability skills is an important step for any project that prepares youth for future employment.

There is less agreement however on how these “soft skills” -- or life skills, non-cognitive skills, core work skills, socio-emotional skills -- should be named, developed, and measured, or which skills in this group are most important to young people’s long-term success.

Is it more important for young people to have intra-personal skills (e.g. stress management and goal setting) or inter-personal skills (e.g. teamwork and communication)? How can these skills be best combined with hard skills training? How do you decide what to prioritize? Are new tools the best for your project or organization, and why? How much time and money can you devote to developing or adapting tools?

Session leads:

Carrie Ellett, BRAC USA

Clara Delavallade, World Bank

Ann Hershkowitz, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)

Christopher Ying, Save the Children