Last updated: 18.08.14

E-learning useful tool for soft skills training

When you're applying for a new job, it's not just your technical ability or qualifications that recruiters will be looking at; they'll also be taking your 'soft skills' into account.

The name 'soft skills' somewhat undermines their importance. Skills including decision-making, commitment, teamwork and communication all fall into this category and are vital for fitting into a successful team.

E-learning for soft skills

As soft skills are becoming increasingly prized by employers, more people are turning to e-learning for soft skills training courses to develop their personal attributes, understand how to use them and know how to present them in a job interview situation.

E-learning is a great way for people to develop soft skills, as it can fit around existing work and education commitments, with individuals able to learn at their own pace.

In fact, embracing online soft skills training can be a good way to demonstrate your flexibility to prospective employers. Organisations are increasingly asking staff to work flexible hours, so being able to do this could be the difference between a person getting a job and being overlooked for another candidate.

How important are soft skills to employers?

Many of today's employers regard soft skills as just as important, if not more so, than technical skills.

According to a survey carried out by The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) in 2017, one in three UK employers now class soft skills as more important than technical skills.

Meanwhile, a huge 93 per cent of hirers said they were more likely to take on candidates who could demonstrate skills beyond their formal qualifications.

Overall, 98 per cent of senior managers believe that young people should spend more time working on their soft skills.

Peter Westgarth, chief executive of the DofE, explained: "Whilst grades are of course important, they don't showcase a young person's full potential.

"Evidence of soft skills helps employers to see that a young person is more employable and that they will adapt to the workplace culture more easily and progress faster in the job."

However, Sarah Willingham, an entrepreneur and Dragon's Den investor, said she felt these should be renamed as 'real life skills' or 'core skills' to emphasise their importance.

"When it comes to employability, the value of those skills cannot be underestimated," she stated.

At Virtual College, we offer a wide range of e-learning courses designed to develop your soft skills across areas including teamwork, problem-solving and creativity. Explore our full list of courses here.