Pearson completed a global internal project in 2015 around vocational employability. Looking across all different kinds of frameworks we created an internal framework that defines employability across four buckets: 1. Core Academic Competencies – this includes literacy and numeracy but also includes digital literacy; 2. Occupational Competencies (that support a particular discipline or career path – including credentials); 3. Personal and Social Capabilities (the so-called “soft-skills”) and 4. Career Transition Skills. All of these need to come together.
Pearson has focused much effort around personal and social capabilities. Identifying six categories: Critical & Creative Thinking; Communication - Oral & Written; Collaboration & Teamwork; Self-Management / Initiative and Mindset; Social Responsibility; and leadership. (http://www.pearsoned.com/higher-education/products-and-services/services-and-solutions-for-higher-ed/solutions/pearsons-success-solution/personal-social-capabilities-framework/) .
Our research has been across students, academic institutions and employers and the answer we got was a resounding “no” young people are not consistently getting these types of skills. The 2015 Manpower global survey of talent shortage points to a number of reasons why employers have talent shortages but lack of specific technical skills and soft skills are key components of the global shortage. (http://www.manpowergroup.com/wps/wcm/connect/db23c560-08b6-485f-9bf6-f5f38a43c76a/2015_Talent_Shortage_Survey_US-lo_res.pdf?MOD=AJPERES).