Improving soft skills and communication in response to youth unemployment

Several studies have been conducted into the high rates of graduate youth unemployment in South Africa. Results from these investigations have isolated some determinants which can be categorised under three broad headings – government, business practices and graduate attributes. The article focuses on graduates’ attributes that negatively impact on their employability. One attribute that was identified was their soft skills, particularly, their communication ability or their levels of pragmatic language usage. Pragmatic competence is an ability which is not always consequential to ordinary language development; there needs to be explicit instruction for such development. This is a reflective article with the objective of examining the nature of communication in the workplace and what strategies can enhance graduates’ communication ability, and in turn improve their employability. This article concludes that enhancing graduates’ communication skills should be a cooperative venture involving all the stakeholders in education – students, parents, higher education institutions, business and government. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]

Title: Improving soft skills and communication in response to youth unemployment
Author: Kaburise, Phyllis
Year: 2016
Periodical: International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1753-7274)
Volume: 11
Issue: 2
Pages: 87-101
Language: English
Geographic term: South Africa
External link: https://doi.org/10.1080/18186874.2016.1248061
Abstract: Several studies have been conducted into the high rates of graduate youth unemployment in South Africa. Results from these investigations have isolated some determinants which can be categorised under three broad headings – government, business practices and graduate attributes. The article focuses on graduates’ attributes that negatively impact on their employability. One attribute that was identified was their soft skills, particularly, their communication ability or their levels of pragmatic language usage. Pragmatic competence is an ability which is not always consequential to ordinary language development; there needs to be explicit instruction for such development. This is a reflective article with the objective of examining the nature of communication in the workplace and what strategies can enhance graduates’ communication ability, and in turn improve their employability. This article concludes that enhancing graduates’ communication skills should be a cooperative venture involving all the stakeholders in education – students, parents, higher education institutions, business and government. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]