Structure of Soft Skills of Future Social Workers

Author: Lesia Mandro
Institution: Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5417-9419
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 20-25
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ve.2023.01.02
PDF: ve/5/ve502.pdf

The article is dedicated to the research of soft skills structural units and their formation of future social workers, as well as the issue of their professional growth and development. Professional skills consist of specific knowledge and abilities important for performing a particular job and that can be mostly identified, evaluated and measured. Until now, there was a perception that hard or functional- -technical skills were the only skills needed for career growth and development. However, a study carried out at Harvard University shows that 80% of career achievements are determined by soft (social and communication) skills and only 20% by functional and technical skills. Since the labor market currently requires diverse professionals, higher education institutions face new challenges. One of these challenges is to create pedagogical conditions for the development of soft skills, including those of future social workers. The professional competence of a social worker involves three groups of skills, namely hard skills, soft skills and meta skills. We suppose that the mechanism of their formation in the conditions of professional training should be focused on the development of all components of soft skills, and their development provides the necessary professional qualities, the implementation of abilities, and the realization of values in social work. In accordance with the characteristics of future social workers in the development of «soft skills», its characteristic features and peculiarities are clarified, including: creating an informal environment for the formation of social leadership in higher educational institutions; filling the educational program with options for «soft skills», activities aimed at increasing the practice-oriented training of future specialists, the use of active and interactive techniques, forms, methods and means of developing the «soft skills» of social workers. The results of the study include the definition of the concept of «soft skills», the identification of their general characteristics, the outlining of groups of soft skills, and the description of their main components. It was found that the most in-demand flexible competencies are: teamwork, critical thinking, leadership, creativity, meeting deadlines, responsibility and discipline, as well as communication skills, emotional stability, ability to work in stressful situations, adaptability to a new team or working conditions, conflict resolution, critical and creative thinking, public speaking skills, reliability, flexibility, responsibility, priority setting, planning, adequate perception of criticism and readiness for improvement, and professional etiquette proficiency

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higher educational institutions professional skills social work vocational education lifelong learning

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