Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Personality over Qualifications
Just a couple of weeks after thousands of young people received their examination results, I am starting to meet and work with many people who are not in a celebratory mood.
The pressure that is placed upon young people from their parents, schools, potential employers and society can very often become too much.
We all appreciate the importance of having a good set of qualifications, but surely having a good set of personality based skills are just as essential for young people.
Many of us will know of individuals who have the right qualifications on paper to get their job, but unfortunately lack the personality and social interaction skills to be effective and positive members of the team.
The education system is designed to produce individuals with a set of qualifications that meet the requirements of potential employers, but many parents will argue that a good percentage of the material taught to their children is largely ineffective and not appropriate.
A driving force behind the Young People are our Future charity is the concept of educating them in the importance of personality over qualifications.
Young people are taught to appreciate how to develop their confidence and self-esteem by engaging in activities that encourage them to dream, set goals, believe in themselves, communicate positively with those around them, work in a team and problem solve.
I am constantly placed in front of young people who at their core are enthusiastic, passionate and driven but, year after year since they entered into the schooling system they have been taught to focus on the wrong skills, which has left them to display a hollow image of their real personality.
It is about time we woke up and realised that having a rich personality that approaches life positively with the ability to communicate well and navigate the problems that life inevitably throws at us all should be a part of the core curriculum at school.
There should be sessions where parents are taught the importance of NOT placing unnecessary pressure on their children when going through school and the importance of teaching them some core personality development skills.
Employers need to take stock and adjust their recruitment procedures to take into consideration the benefits of employing young people with the right personality rather than making decisions purely on grades.
There are so many positive examples of individuals over the years who have left school with little or no qualifications and yet through having the right skills within their personality have become very successful. We have to acknowledge that something has to change if we are to stop thousands of young people every year going through a period of doom and gloom trying to come to terms with their immediate future.