‘Potential should not be measured solely on academic achievements’

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GCSE students across England and Wales are waiting for their results tomorrow and preparing to enter the world of work or further education.

I want to let people about new research that The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) has commissioned, which reveals the attitudes and opinions of more than 500 UK business leaders towards the importance of soft skills.

Nine in 10 of the business leaders surveyed revealed they are more likely to employ a candidate who demonstrates achievements beyond grades and those who show evidence of strong ‘soft skills’ often progress faster in the workplace.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to me, the results from the survey demonstrate that a young person’s potential should not be measured solely on academic achievements, something we’ve always championed at the DofE.

While grades are of course important, they don’t showcase a young person’s full potential.

Evidence of soft skills helps employers to see that a young person is more employable and that they will be able to adapt to the workplace culture more easily and progress faster in the job.

The DofE is well known as the world’s leading youth achievement award and helps develops more than 400,000 young people every year in the UK.

The skills learnt while doing a DofE programme are transferable to the workplace. Skills and attributes such as communication, team work, leadership and confidence can be achieved while volunteering, taking on a new skill, keeping fit and being out in the country on expedition.

It is really important that on results day, should young people not receive the grades that they had been hoping for, that they don’t feel despondent.

There is more to life than exam results. The DofE award can be a life-changing opportunity for many young people, offering them the chance to develop vital skills for both work and life.

Peter Westgarth,

CEO of The Duke of

Edinburgh’s Award