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.
- 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.