DR.ESTHERGACICIO | 2 months ago


In recent years, there has been a lot of concern about the quality of the newly released graduates in the job market in terms of their presentation, communication, enthusiasm, and commitment to work. At the same time, a significant number of employers believe that candidates searching for jobs lack the vital soft skills needed to perform a job successfully. Employers are looking for candidates who are well-rounded and demonstrate competence in soft skills, such as the ability to communicate well, show initiative and responsibility, as well as ability to work well in teams. To become a stellar employee or an admired leader requires an arsenal of skills that are not easy to measure but critical to success.  What’s unfortunate in these circumstances is that many fresh graduates actively applying for jobs may not be successful due to their lack of soft skills. Nearly 3 in 4 employers say they have a hard time finding graduates with the soft skills needed in their companies. According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 89 percent of recruiters say when a hire doesn’t work out, it usually comes down to a lack of soft skills. Perhaps realizing this, many employers are prioritizing soft skills during hiring.  According to LinkedIn's Global Talent Trend research, 92 percent of hiring managers believe that soft skills are just as important as hard talents. Leadership IQ research found that 48% of recruits fail within the first 18 months. Only 11% of those failures are attributable to a lack of complex abilities; the remaining 89% are caused by a lack of soft skills, the study concentrated on the reasons why recruit failure rates are so frightening, which is undoubtedly an increasing trend:

     30% are unable to accept criticism

     22% of them are unable to control their emotions

     20% of them lack the drive to succeed.

     17% of them fail because they lack the necessary temperament for the position.

     and 11% of failures are attributable to a lack of the required technical skills and abilities.

Monster’s The Future of Work 2021: Global Hiring Outlook reported that when employers were asked to name the top skills they want in employees, they cited soft skills such as dependability, teamwork/collaboration, flexibility, and problem-solving. In a 2019 report, the Society for Human Resource Management found that 51 percent of its members who responded to a survey said that education systems have done little or nothing to help address the skills shortage. Undoubtedly, soft skills are essential for every employee seeking to find a footing in an organization as addressed by the following quotes;



Coupled with the lack of soft skills, there has also been a rise in mental instabilities in the workplaces and homes.

How can this course prepare you to respond to the expectations of each of the above 21st-century employers?


It is with this realization that ELS started the ELSAT Hub to develop programs that address the missing soft skills that are not adequately handled during Tertiary education and training as cited by the following 21st-century employers. The program seeks to step in and bridge the gap by skilling the college students with these skills while still in college or newly graduated from blending with the technical skills, thus seamlessly developing an all-around trainee who fits within the needs of the industry as a job seeker or self-employed individual


The ELSAT Hub Programs

The Hub programs aim at addressing the following areas;

     Personal Development that ensures improved personal management including social assets for resilience, self-efficacy, flexibility and adaptability, good grooming, willingness to learn, and personal development

     Promote interpersonal skills in highly effective ways of living and working with others with enhanced communication skills both oral and written to enable one to negotiate and solve conflicts effectively

     Promote appropriate work ethics, teamwork, professionalism, and personal leadership skills while ensuring the development of empowered, engaged, and ethical citizens.

     Creativity and innovativeness demonstrating problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence, leadership skills, critical thinking, and decision-making skills as well as sound moral values

     Possess an entrepreneurial mind capable of citing problems within their environments, seizing the opportunity, and designing workable solutions

     Promote desirable management of finances through the acquisition of appropriate financial literacy skills.



Our goal in the next 5 years is to make these Smart Knacks of Life a must-have for every student graduating from college and every employee getting into employment. Short term objective is to reach 1000 students within the next 1 year going through this program. Between July and August 2022, we are looking to enroll the 1st cohort of 250 students with the course starting on 5th September 2022. By the end of December 2023, we hope to have run 4-5 cohorts on our site and many others through collaboration with Tertiary Institutions with whom we have started engagement.

In the end, Kenya will have happy employees and happy employers with a great productive business that will boost the economy and lead to a rich country. ELSAT Hub Smart Knacks of Life starting with the 21st Century Soft Skills course is the beginning of this reality.


21st Century Soft Skills Course

The main course in the Hub that is the foundation of the Smart Knacks for Life is 21st Century Soft Skills Course.  Soft skills are the personal attributes that enable one to understand themselves and to live harmoniously with others.  Alexandra Levit, a workforce futurist and author of Humanity Works: Merging Technologies and People for the Workforce of the Future (Kogan Page, 2018) defines them as the ability to acquire the skills, knowledge, and mindset needed to be an engaged and productive member of the team. These skills are universal, not specific to any job, and may not adequately be taught in formal education yet they are very critical for the workplace and life in general.

Soft skills are a range of abilities including work ethics, courtesy, teamwork, self-discipline and self-confidence, professionalism, language proficiency, cultural sensitivity, communication skills, ability to accept and learn from criticism, ability to handle client relationships, networking, creativity, ability to motivate yourself and also lead others, time management, leadership, and interpersonal skills. These skills are essentially people skills, the non-technical, intangible, personality-specific skills that determine one's strengths as a leader, speaker, listener, negotiator, and conflict mediator. They play an important role in the development of the students’ complete personality, thus enhancing their career prospects.

To address this gap, ELS designed and developed an online program for students in tertiary institutions as well as fresh graduates from these institutions to enable them to be highly productive in the workplace. This would make graduates of the ELSAT program the most sought-after workers by organizations.

Organization of the training

This course is the 1st in a series of courses on social skills. It entails 9 units taken over 9 weeks with the first week being landing, settling, and orientation to the online course. The courses will be available on the go. Once you register, you will be required to pay to access the course which will be run online.  It is experiential thus allowing the participants to be actively engaged and analyze relevant case studies. They will then get a mission for every unit which will enable them to exercise and apply what they have learned thus acquiring hands-on experience.

The units are designed to ensure that learning takes place by having assignments, tests, reflections, and hands-on activities. They also learn from each other through asynchronous (discussion forums) and synchronized (live chats) approaches that ensure the learners are engaged at all times. The Units are controlled and will only be activated upon successful completion of the active unit.

Active participation in the course will be rewarded with badges that will be judged based on activities in areas including moderating sessions, contribution to discussion fora, group work, etc. The training will be supported by experts in the field who will journey with the participants in synchronized and asynchronized ways.

On successful completion of the course, an online certificate will be generated. The main course will be offered on dates to be communicated on the organization's website. The course will be open for participants to register before the commencement of the program.

All participants will be expected to undertake a pre-assessment activity upon registration before the commencement of the course. There will be a post-assessment activity on completion of the course before generating the certificate.

The course will also be available as short self-paced courses with individual units standing alone on a pay-as-you-go model through the ELS platform at an affordable cost. This will be mainly for those who for some reason cannot participate fully in the 9-week or those who want to enhance skills only in specific areas.


By the end of the course, the participants will be able to;

   Demonstrate improved personal management including social assets for resilience, flexibility, adaptability, willingness to learn, and personal development

   Exhibit enhanced communication and people skills for better relationships

   Demonstrate critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and decision making, coping with emotions as well as leadership skills

   Demonstrate strong work ethics, emotional intelligence, teamwork, professionalism, Resilience, perseverance, and self-motivation

   Show capacity to adequately prepare for a job through good job application skills, presentation, and job interviews

   Appreciate the importance of good interpersonal skills and the need to guard mental health

   Acquire essential living values for productive lives

   Acquire appropriate financial literacy skills for self-management

   Generate business ideas that can be carried out by an individual or a group

Course Outline

The course entails 9 Units as follows;

  1. Introduction
  2. Personal management skills
  3. Interpersonal Relationships
  4. Making effective decisions
  5. Managing my health
  6. Leadership
  7. Citizenship
  8. World of Work
  9. Financial management

Course delivery

The course is designed for interactive self-paced learning with activities and assessments as part of what the participants will be engaged with. It is also tutor-supported and the course is ascertained through;

a)    Reflective journals

b)    E-Portfolios

c)    Self-evaluation

d)    Automated quizzes


The participants are further expected to interactively engage through;

1)    Synchronized chats

2)    Discussion forums

3)    Webinars

Those taking the courses through their organizations/Institutions will be required to apply for the course through the organization's website. The requirement includes;

     Be Computer literate,

     Have access to a computer,

     Have an active email address,

     Have access to internet connectivity.

     Be energetic and eager to learn, work under tight schedules

     Be a team player


The ELSAT programs target the following;

      Fresh University and College graduates

     Trainees in their last year of study and/or those proceeding on internship or attachments

      Graduate trainees

     Organized training and placement organizations such as internship programs, and Industry training programs among others.

     Human resource Practitioners



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