Why are life skills important?
From the benefits it brings to the individual to the positive effect it has on employability and wider society, learn all about the importance of having life skills.
The importance of life skills
In a constantly changing environment, having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life. The dramatic changes in global economies over the past five years have been matched with the transformation in technology and these are all impacting on education, the workplace and our home life. To cope with the increasing pace and change of modern life, students need new life skills such as the ability to deal with stress and frustration. Today’s students will have many new jobs over the course of their lives, with associated pressures and the need for flexibility.
Benefits for the individual
In everyday life, the development of life skills helps students to:
- Find new ways of thinking and problem solving
- Recognise the impact of their actions and teaches them to take responsibility for what they do rather than blame others
- Build confidence both in spoken skills and for group collaboration and cooperation
- Analyse options, make decisions and understand why they make certain choices outside the classroom
- Develop a greater sense of self-awareness and appreciation for others
Benefits for employment
While students work hard to get good grades, many still struggle to gain employment. According to research by the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) in 2011 employers were looking not just for academic success but key employability skills including:
- The ability to self-manage, solve problems and understand the business environment
- Working well as part of a team
- Time and people management
- Agility and adaptability to different roles and flexible working environments
- The potential to lead by influence
Benefits for society
The more we develop life skills individually, the more these affect and benefit the world in which we live:
- Recognising cultural awareness and citizenship makes international cooperation easier
- Respecting diversity allows creativity and imagination to flourish developing a more tolerant society
- Developing negotiation skills, the ability to network and empathise can help to build resolutions rather than resentments
The life skills handbook
Get the information on life skills in a downloadable and printable PDF handbook. Read articles from Dr Spencer Kagan, the leading authority on Life skills, and from leading Macmillan authors. Try some of the activities with your class.
Life Skills Thinkers
What do Shakespeare, Plato, Einstein and Maya Angelou all have in common? They were all great thinkers who exemplified different life skills. Try a selection of life skills activities inspired by these icons to cover skills including organisation, communication and self-awareness.