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JETS Scheme Must Focus On Soft Skills

5 Oct 2020
Ewan Anderson

The UK government today announced the launch of its' £238m scheme to support those losing their job as a result of COVID19.

The Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme aims to boost the job prospects of over 250,000 people through support from 13,500 work coaches.

The coaches will target adults over the age of 25, to help them recognise the skills they have and how they can be used in other areas of the economy.

Recent research carried out by Eden Scott, one of Scotland's leading recruitment agencies, highlighted the value HR professionals put on the softer skills when recruiting.

Over 80% of the HR professionals surveyed highlighted that they recruit as much for a candidate's softer skills and cultural fit as they do qualifications. While technical ability is important, much of this can be trained. For long-term success, businesses are looking to recruit the right person for the team.

The support is targeted at supporting growing sectors such as construction and care sectors as growing areas of the economy.

Iain Atkinson, Associate Director for Property and Construction, said:

"HR departments have, for a long time, recruited people based on their personality and attitude as much as they have for qualification. There is no getting away from the fact that some jobs require specific skills and recruits need technical knowledge from the start. However, we know recruitment processes are structured to assess mindset and cultural fit, and that anyone applying for a job should emphasis their strengths in this area.

Being able to highlight softer skills such as adaptability, work ethic, a growth mindset and a team player attitude from previous jobs or other aspects of your life will help when completing an application."

Recruitment processes have also developed as a result of the pandemic. While there were some video interviews taking place before the country descended into lockdown, we have seen a significant increase in the number of companies utilising the process. Nearly 70% of the HR professionals surveyed indicated that they had used video interviews as part of their recruitment process.

Euan Cameron, Founder and CEO at Eden Scott partner, Willo, reinforces this assertion:

"We have seen a significant rise in demand for Willo since the pandemic hit. We have seen growth both in this country and around the world, which is opening up opportunities in other labour markets for people.

For those that are preparing to apply for a job, they should practice video interviews. It is accessible to anyone with a mobile phone just using the video function. Three top tips would be to think about the quality of the sound, the light and your background."

While it is going to be incredibly competitive to find work, it is reassuring to know that many of the skills needed, many people already possess, it is just about emphasising those skills.

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Ewan Anderson
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