Q7: On soft skills vs. hard skills (SUSS Ministerial Forum 2019)

Q7: On soft skills vs. hard skills (SUSS Ministerial Forum 2019)


I think you need both. Some of the things human beings do, you can delegate to robots. If not now, one day, you will be able to do that. If you are playing chess against a chess-playing computer, unless you set the computer to a very, very easy level, your chances will not be very high. Even a grandmaster loses to a chess computer. But unless you have some hard skills, it is very difficult for you to be creative. You can be empathetic, and you can sayang people as much as you want, but if you can’t get a job done, you can’t get a job done. So you do need to learn and come out from school and from university with hard skills. You must read, you must be able to know the math, you must be able to understand the scientific approach to things. If you can understand economics better, and if you can have some history, even better. There are a lot of things we would like you to know, which if you knew, we think would be better for you. But at the same time, you also must develop the soft skills and not be trapped by the book. The soft skills come from not just from what you study and what you are taught in class, but also the way in which the school environment nurtures you. That means your chances to work together with your fellow students on projects, the way in which you go out and do social work, or social projects, with a community around you. To help residents of rental flats, or older
residents who need companionship and care. Or sports and CCAs where they are organising something, getting people mobilised, leading them, setting goals, compromising with them, and getting everybody together to get somewhere. These are all part of the education system, and I’m sure there must be. I do not know who each of you organised today’s dialogue – two of you must have been part of it, but other than that, there must have been a big team doing this. It is not easy to put such a thing together to bring everybody to the right place. Get the organisation, the people, the deployments, make sure the food arrives on time, make sure the drink is in the right place, and make sure the principal speaker turns up. A lot of grey hair, but I hope at the end of it you conclude that this is something from which you have learned and is not given a grade in your end-of-term report card.

Danny Hutson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *