Youth Workforce Development

Soft skills are complex behaviors that involve interacting with others, working collaboratively, solving problems, and controlling one’s reaction to complex and changing situations. Mastering soft skills is not simply a matter of memorizing rules or knowing what to do. Instead, students need to develop, practice, and internalize high-order thinking to construct their own knowledge and behaviors. The Soft Skills Academy curriculum addresses this reality by presenting a series of demonstrations and group interactions that simulate the workplace as much as possible so that your participants will actually LEARN BY DOING! The activities built into the Soft Skills Academy curriculum allow participants to work as a team, role-play job interviews and various work-related situations, and consider how common on-the-job problems can best be resolved.

For youth transition programs that are classroom-based, the benefits of learning through workplace simulation can be extended by adopting workplace rules in a classroom such as establishing business speech as the classroom language and working as a team as the approach to making each participant a learning resource. Furthermore, appropriate dress and conduct can mimic the dress and conduct typical of workplaces. Instructors can be “bosses” or “supervisors.”

The Soft Skills Academy curriculum, written and developed by Access Technologies Group, is an evidence-based curriculum that teaches and reinforces soft skills that young people need to be successful in a work environment. Furthermore, it is a curriculum that works for all youth, regardless of their reading levels, prior experience, or capabilities.

Soft Skills Academy is available as a classroom-based curriculum as well as a full stand-alone online curriculum. It can also be used very effectively in a blended environment using an accompanying facilitator/trainer guide. The curriculum will help a wide audience of youth master the soft skills deemed necessary for a successful work life in the 21st century.

Topic Areas

The following soft skills were identified by the industry and curriculum experts consulted during the development of this curriculum:

  • Respectful communication and communicating as a professional: Polite consideration for each other’s contributions.
  • Teamwork, cooperation, and working with others: Helping and serving as a resource for each other and working together toward a common goal.
  • Networking: Asking each other for advice and help.
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills: Analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to make a decision, reach a conclusion, identify an answer, or solve a problem.
  • Learning to add value at work: Customer service, conflict resolution, and productivity.
  • Enthusiasm: Active, cheerful, and engaged participation in work-related activities.
  • Professionalism: Arriving on time; dressing in clean, neat clothing; demonstrating good grooming (hair, skin, make-up, nails); and meeting employer expectations.

These form the basis of a sequential and spiraling approach to the development and integration of the content and skills. In other words, they build on each other and are continually rewoven into the learning experiences in this curriculum. The foundational concepts covered early on are revisited in new and different ways as additional soft skills are introduced. There is both a sequence and an ongoing review as the curriculum evolves.

Learn about ATG's full range of simulation-based training for job seekers and employees of all ages…

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Access Technologies Group
P.O. Box 1558
New Canaan, CT 06840

Phone: (203) 966-8572

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It is ATG's belief that training can be more engaging, impactful, relevant, and cost-effective by combining the best of e-learning and instructor-led training (ILT).

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