Episode 006

What might we mean by soft skills?









Owen Kelly



June 11, 2021


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For the last year Owen Kelly has worked with a group of educators from across the Nordic and Baltic regions to develop the VAKEN project. This has begun developing a rapid learning process to enable students (and later others) to improve their soft skills.

The process has raised a number of interesting and difficult questions starting with “how do we define soft skills?” On the one hand they can easily seem to mean whatever you want them to mean. On the other hand it remains far from clear whose benefit they serve. Should we see them as sets of behaviours the employers increasingly demand from job applicants, or should we see them as aspects of self-development and well-being that everyone should have access to?

In this episode Owen Kelly pursues a genuine inquiry into what we might mean by soft skills, and why we might find ourselves concerned with them.