A Study on Cross-Cutting Non-Cognitive Skills: Uncovering Youth’s Values

Regardless of employer demand and training supply of soft skills, it’s youth who are responsible for meeting the standards of their future employers. Youth are challenged to uncover the essence of soft skills from trainings and education systems that are at times led by individuals who themselves do not exhibit such skills. Further, they must learn how to practice these skills in their own lives. The task is a large one, and so far, too little research has focused on understanding youth’s perspectives of soft skills. Grounded in the findings of Child Trends’ Key ‘Soft’ Skills that Foster Youth Workforce Success and Youth Power’s Key Soft Skills for Cross-Sectoral Success, this study uses the Big Five Factor model (which includes the skills: conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability, openness, and extraversion) to research youth perspectives on skills that are important for positive outcomes in education and employment.


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