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Soft Skills

Colleges respond to industry demands for ‘soft skills’

The Globe’s biweekly business-school news roundup.

Employers and education providers don’t always see eye to eye on the job readiness of graduates.

“There is a large gap in the perception of preparedness,” says Ali Jaffer, associate principal in the Toronto office of McKinsey and Co., and a contributor to one of its global reports that found employers and postsecondary education institutions at odds over the skills of graduates.

In a 2012 survey by New York-based McKinsey, 75 per cent of education providers said graduates were adequately prepared for entry-level positions in their career field, a view shared by only 42 per cent of employers and 45 per cent of youth. When asked about soft skills, just 49 per cent of employers felt graduates were skilled in written communication compared to 63 per cent of education providers. (A Canadian report with similar themes is expected to be released shortly).

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