The Kickstart programme recognises that transferable skills differ considerably from personal foundation ‘soft skills’ to ‘hard’ or technical skills. Transferable skills are skills that are required in any job and which enable people to participate in a flexible and adaptable workforce. Transferable skills are a valuable source of skilled labour by employers and as such, are a crucial element of employability and the path towards employment.
The Kickstart programme delivers ‘soft’ skills training in Modules 1 & 3. Emphasis is placed on the importance of personality traits that affect interpersonal interactions and are considered equally as important in a workplace to succeed. The ‘hard’ skills are delivered in Modules 1, 2 & 4, through IT training, work placement and identification of individual customised training.
Kickstart offers an ‘Employers Workshop’ at the start of the programme, whereby employers are invited to talk to the participants on what they look for when recruiting staff. Kickstart participants are offered the opportunity to ask questions and consider any placement(s) if available. The Employability Strategy 2015-2018 identified the skills most valued by employers are the ‘soft’ skills; basic literacy/numeracy, communication, adaptability, willingness to learn, team player, attitude, initiative, punctuality and reliability. Ability to use Microsoft Office and basic emails were notably the highest ‘hard’ skill that are valued.