Volume 10 Issue 2 (2021)

Soft Skills: Connecting Classrooms with the Workplace—A Systematic Review

pp. 116-138  |  Published Online: December 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2021.102.2

Mohammed El Messaoudi

Abstract

Background/purpose – Recent evidence concedes that the modern workplace has recently undergone a tremendous change. Emerging workplace exigencies shifted the pendulum towards soft skills, a new [old] set of skills significantly required (from employees) by employers. In response, the “Bachelor System” has been adopted by the Moroccan Ministry of Education and Training as a panacea to accoutre university students with these on-demand skills.

Materials/methods – This systematic review was geared towards retrieving, synthesizing, and appraising the literature on soft skills development and workplace readiness attributes desired by stakeholders in the Moroccan context. The study shed light on (20) journal articles (as the main unit of interest) published over a decade, ranging from January 2011 to February 2021 on soft skills in both higher education and the business sector.

Results – Key results (generated via NVivo) accentuated the omnipresence of a soft skills gap (a mismatch) between academia and business, the extreme importance of soft skills in today’s local economy, and the urgent need to embed a specific set of soft skills in higher education curricula in order to prepare graduates for future jobs.

Conclusion – Based on the systematic review and analysis of 20 articles, there is solid evidence that building a stronger Morocco requires building a more soft-skilled workforce.

Keywords: Soft skills, workplace readiness, skills gap.

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