Key Soft Skills That Foster Youth Workforce Success
Toward a Consensus Across Fields
This paper is situated within a broader research agenda to build the evidence base on soft skills. Soft skills refer to a a broad set of skills, competencies, behaviors, attitudes, and personal qualities that enable people to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals. By fielding measures of these skills in surveys and program evaluations in diverse contexts and regions, the evidence of their impact on youth employment outcomes will grow. This paper addresses this agenda by recommending priority soft skills that give youth ages 15–29 the greatest chances of success in the workforce, based upon currently available evidence. These recommendations emerge from both a careful review of the research and broad stakeholder input, and provide the field with consensus terminology and priority skills for consideration.