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S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette partner to share the number one thing employers are looking for when hiring and how to learn it
Columbia, SC – The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) in partnership with Lt. Governor Pamela Evette is touting the long-term benefits of softs skills that can be learned by young people through their first jobs. South Carolina employers report that one of the most critical requirements they seek in applicants are soft skills, and the public service announcement released by the Lt. Governor and DEW aims to help parents understand the importance of soft skills and the opportunity for their child to learn them through a first job, while still in school.
“In my time visiting businesses of every size and type throughout the state, I hear the same message over and over – the best employees are the ones that have soft skills, and there aren’t enough of them,” said Lt. Gov. Evette. “People need to have the experience from a basic part-time job as a young person to help them learn these important skills which build the foundation to a successful lifelong career, no matter what field they pursue.”
Soft skills are very different from work skills. Soft skills include things like strong communication, digital literacy, problem-solving, teamwork, the importance of attendance, following rules and more. Work skills are the experience or training in a specific type of job like accounting for financial jobs, driving for trucking, delivery and distribution, or medicine for nursing. Without soft skills, individuals will have a hard time excelling, even with exemplary work skills. Soft skills help a person’s work skills shine.
“The purpose of the PSA is to help parents understand that first-time employment is not all about money. I think people do not realize how many soft skills are learned on a job. As a young person works for a business and is responsible to someone outside of the family, they are accountable for their time management, their appearance and their communication. The skills they learn on a job are invaluable and by learning them at a young age, while in school, they will be better prepared for future employment and success,” said DEW Executive Director, Dan Ellzey.
The PSA also encourages parents to think beyond the common misconceptions of a first job. There are many employers in the state from retail to manufacturing to hospitality to distribution that have flexible schedule options and open positions for people to learn specific works skills on the job. Evette says, “I hear from employers across the state that they are willing to be flexible with students as early as middle school through college. They are willing to train on the job and offer competitive pay.”
SC Works has created a webpage that offers resources and guidance for parents to learn more and share with their children. Parents, teachers and community mentors are encouraged to share these resources with youth in their homes and communities and look at local options for first employment. To see the PSA, visit scworks.org/youth.
DEW is a core partner in the SC Works centers located throughout South Carolina that leverages the state’s workforce system by providing services such as career guidance, job referrals, and testing and training to meet the needs of jobseekers, employers and those looking to further their careers. The professionals in the SC Works centers can connect parents and their children with local employers who are actively hiring young people.