Social and Emotional Skills are Top of Mind Across Canada

The Conference Board of Canada, 2 pages, January 25, 2021
Summary for Executives by
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When we asked participants across Canada to identify the most important skills for career success, they overwhelmingly identified social and emotional skills. This summary details their concerns, challenges, and suggestions.

Document Highlights

  • Participants expressed concern that young people struggle to develop social and emotional skills.
  • Some felt that younger workers’ dependence on technology inhibited their interpersonal and communication skills development—though not everyone agreed.
  • Many were frustrated by the barriers to accessing education and training faced by those in vulnerable groups.
  • We were cautioned not to advance a western, Eurocentric perspective on the skills that individuals ought to have.
  • Lack of skills articulation—where a person fails to communicate their relevant skills and experiences to employers—can be an issue.
  • We need to rethink post-secondary teaching and training around SES development.
  • Educational systems, employers, learners, and workers need to recognize that SES develop over a lifetime.
  • Experiential learning opportunities, volunteering, and mentorship is key.
  • Credentials are important but incomplete indicators of a person’s skills.
  • Institutions and employers must do a better job of recognizing lived experience and prior learning.

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