We cannot achieve this alone.

That’s why are working with a number of campaign partners to help spread the word, share their expertise, and shape the outcomes.

If you are interested in becoming a campaign partner please email [email protected].

Mark Capper, Head of Employer Engagement, Mencap:

“With only 7% of people with a learning disability in paid work, Mencap focus on addressing the barriers that contribute to this unacceptably low statistic. The development of soft skills is vital in not only progressing to and sustaining paid employment but also helps people with a learning disability to learn transferrable skills to help them to become more confident in participating in their local community and beyond.

We are seeing more and more supported employment contracts focussed on hard outcomes, so it is refreshing to see McDonald’s recognise the value of soft skills and we are delighted to support the initiative.”

Jenny Merry – Head of Talent Consulting:

“The forecast that over half a million UK workers will be significantly held back by a lack of soft skills by 2020 is a worrying look into the future, and yet a reality that is already challenging many companies. At Aon, our talent consultants see this as a particular concern for the manager population. Managers are the back-bone of an organisation; they have a massive impact on engagement and performance of their teams. Yet, these are the individuals who are often placed into a managerial role without having had any development in the soft skills needed to deliver in the role, for example feedback and coaching, communication and managing diverse and virtual teams. This is affecting the degree to which teams can actually be successful in delivering against local and strategic objectives. Aon is delighted to be a campaign partner to the “Backing Soft Skills Campaign”. We are happy to be able to share client stories, as well as help build solutions to address these challenges.”

Judith Nelson, Tesco UK Personnel Director:

“Tesco is delighted to be supporting McDonald’s Backing Soft Skills campaign. We believe soft skills have a vital role to play in any workplace, helping individuals to realise their potential, building great teams and helping us deliver great service for our customers. Our research with young people has found that soft skills are key to helping them get the most from their education and start successful careers. That’s why we’ve launched the Tesco Youth Academy, a free learning programme to help prepare young people for the world of work. Through the Youth Academy, we are sharing our training expertise with young people in schools and our wider community. We look forward to continuing to promote the development of soft skills through such initiatives.”

Youth Focus
Neil Burke, Youth Focus North East:

“Soft skills are crucial to young people to not only successfully enter employment but more importantly sustain employment. Youth Focus: North East believes that young people should be educated in soft skills and supported to learn how they can then apply these skills in the world of work. The UK’s future productivity highly depends on young people being equipped with these soft skills and it is fantastic to see McDonalds and other private sector organisations recognising this and putting resources into supporting young people to develop these.”

Gelder Group
Mike Johnson MBE, Training Manager:

“As soon as I got to hear of the McDonalds UK campaign I had to get involved. Here at the Gelder Group we are experiencing year on year a lack of communication and soft skills from those young people applying for employment with us. We are so concerned about this that we have set up or own training programme in a bid to improve things, so to be selected to be part of the McDonalds campaign is brilliant. I know as apprenticeship ambassadors employing young people we have a lot of offer and the Gelder Group is very excited to be involved and share our experience.”

Dereth Wood, Director of Learning, Strategy and Policy:

“We’re delighted to be supporting McDonald’s in their campaign to promote the value of soft skills. The research clearly shows how important things like communication, teamwork and time management are to the economy. Our own research also shows how highly employers value these skills, whilst jobseekers lack understanding of their importance.

At learndirect we’ve worked with more than 75,000 businesses, including McDonald’s, and have seen first-hand how vital these are to their success. For young people in particular – who may leave education lacking these skills – on-the-job training like Apprenticeships can play a crucial role in helping to build them.”

Andy Ross, MCIPR, CIPR Public Relations and Policy Manager:

The soft skills used on a day-to-day basis by public relations professionals form the building blocks of modern business practice, and the CIPR is keen for their value to be fully recognized through sustained investment to help current and future talent not only get in to work, but also progress.

I would urge all of our members to back this campaign, and pledge to work with colleagues across their organisations, and across their local communities, to share their valuable expertise.”

Maggie Walker, ASDAN Chief Executive:

“Being personally effective in team-working, communication, self-management and tackling problems, builds the confidence to take responsibility and make the right decisions. We have seen the benefit of this in tens of thousands of young people over the last 35 years during which time ASDAN has led the way specialising in skills education, through a range of curriculum programmes and qualifications, which have provided a means of developing and recognising the achievement of soft skills. We have only touched the tip of the iceberg in our work, but are very much “backing soft skills”, and are delighted to see, and fully support, this McDonald’s campaign, and do what we can to help.”

Learn Direct
David Hughes, Chief Executive:

“Soft skills do not get the attention or recognition that they deserve. We know through our work just how many adults improve these skills through taking part in all types of learning. All forms of learning, and not just those that lead to qualifications, help people build confidence, progress to other skills and are crucial to ensure they thrive in their lives and careers. Soft skills are also what every employer needs from their workforce to be successful.

One soft skill that we want to promote is the confidence to go on to further learning. This commitment and enthusiasm to continuously develop in their careers will help them adapt to the changing workplace and world.

The organisations that have come together Backing Soft Skills prove just how important this campaign is. We urge all our members and supporters from across the sector – and beyond – to take part in the consultation and share with us what works and what must improve.”

Liz Watts, Research & Consultancy Director:

“In our work helping employers engage with and through education, soft skills are recognised as important by all parties. However, defining those soft skills and helping young people acquire them is often where things come unstuck. In recent research we have done with our teacher community, EdComs Teachers, teachers admit that they find soft skills difficult to teach and that they are not always sure which soft skills employers are looking for. EdComs are happy to support this campaign because we believe more needs to be done to help teachers understand the skills business is looking for and to get business supporting the teaching of soft skills.”

Work Foundation
Lizzie Crowley, Head of Youth Unemployment Programmes:

“‘Soft skills’ play a critical role in helping young people successfully move from education to the workplace. Yet too many leave our education system with limited, or no, work experience and under developed soft skills. Boosting these would play a key role in tackling the UK’s long-standing youth unemployment problem.”

Association of Colleges
Richard Atkins, President:

“One of the fundamental building blocks of a sustainable economic recovery is to ensure that everyone has a well-rounded mix of employability skills which includes soft skills. Colleges are well-placed to equip people for the workplace with expert teachers, industry-standard facilities and a close on-going relationship with local employers of all sizes.

Through this campaign we hope more employers will come to recognise and invest in the soft skills of potential recruits as well as their existing workforce.”

Neil Carberry, Director for Employment and Skills:

“Business is clear that developing the right attitudes and attributes in people – such as resilience, respect, enthusiasm and creativity – is just as important as academic or technical skills. In an ever more competitive jobs market it is such qualities that will give our young talent a head start and also allow existing employees to progress to higher skilled, better paid roles.”

National Youth Agency
Fiona Blacke, Chief Executive:

“Those of us who work with young people know that often what stops them achieving their potential and making successful transitions to adult life is not formal academic qualifications. Without the capacity to work with others, to communicate effectively and appropriately, to manage their emotions and channel their energy, to problem solve and perhaps most importantly to have resilience so when things go wrong they can learn from it and pick themselves up and carry on, young people struggle to secure work and be proactive members of their communities.

We are delighted to be supporting McDonald’s, one of the most powerful youth brands, in encouraging everyone be they business, government or civil society to play their part in equipping young people with the soft skills they need to succeed.”

Katerina Rüdiger, Head of Skills and Policy Campaigns:

“Our members, HR professionals who oversee recruitment, regularly tell us that so called ‘soft skills’, such as communication, teamwork and resilience, are among the key attributes they look for when they recruit. If young people are to be able to transition successfully from education to the world of work they must be given the opportunity to develop and demonstrate these skills. We’re pleased to support the McDonald’s UK campaign to drive up awareness of this important topic.”

Jenny North, Director of Policy:

“We know that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can particularly benefit from programmes which develop their ‘soft skills’ as part of getting them into sustained employment. Our report ‘Ready for Work?’ defined six essential capabilities that give young people the edge when trying to get a job, which overlap with those identified in this campaign. Helping young people, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, improve their employability, and progression within work will benefit the economy and society as a whole. We are delighted to be part of McDonald’s UK campaign.”

City & Guilds
Chris Jones, Chief Executive:

“Unfortunately, some people believe that soft skills aren’t that important. However, almost every employer I’ve ever talked to about this disagrees. In a world where job roles are changing rapidly, soft skills will be one of the few constants. That’s why this campaign from McDonald’s is so significant. If people are developing those crucial skills like communication and teamwork early on, they’ll have a much better chance of not only getting into work but progressing throughout their careers.”

People 1st

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