A recent report commissioned by McDonald’s UK revealed that soft skills contributes to 6.5% of the UK economy per year, with Gross Value Added to the equivalent of £88 billion. Producers of the report estimate that within the next five years, this figure will increase to £109 billion.
The research highlighted that employers rated soft skills above academic qualifications with 97% believing that these skills are important to current business success. Worryingly, 75% of these employers say that they consider there to be a soft skills deficit within the current UK workforce.
Employee results supported this concern as it was revealed that 54% of employees said that they have never included soft skills on their CV and one in five felt that they would be uncomfortable with discussing their soft skills with an employer.
With research highlighting warning signs that educators, government and employers are not sufficiently supporting soft skills, it is estimated by economists that by 2020 over half a million workers from across all industries will be held back by their lack of soft skills.
This is particularly pertinent to our profession as project professionals are expected to have a balance of both hard and soft skills.
McDonald’s joins forces with leading organisations and James Caan CBE to bring together academics, businesses, policy experts, trade associations and campaign groups as part of a three month consultation. The focus will be on new ways to improve and recognise soft skills with results being published later in the year together with recommendations to improve, promote and support soft skills in the workplace.
At our 2014 conference, Eddie Obeng discussed how project managers need to rebalance hard vs soft skills in order to find new ways to work collaboratively and effectively, highlighting recognition of soft skill development within the industry.