Why is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Essential for Employability?
  • What are Employability Skills?

Defined by the U.S. Department of Education on their website, “employability skills are general skills that are necessary for success in the labor market at all employment levels and in all sectors.” (retrieved from Feb 2017)


  • What is SEL?

Five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Teaching these competencies to youth helps their ability to integrate to help them deal effectively with many of life’s challenges by encouraging the integration of skills, attitudes, and behavior. These competencies give youth lifelong skills that can help them be successful adults in the workplace.

  • How are Employability and SEL connected?

SEL competencies are interwoven into all three areas of focus for employability skills:

  • Applied Knowledge-problem solving, analytical and reasoning skills, and making sound decisions
  • Effective Relationships-respects differences, takes responsibility, has self-discipline, flexible, positive attitude and sense of self-worth, and can negotiate conflict
  • Workplace Skills-actively listens, communicates effectively


Business News Daily article published in August 2016 shared the 10 most in demand soft skills. The term soft skills is often synonymous with SEL competencies. (Retrieved February 2017)

Good communicator Well Organized
Team player Always punctual
Critical thinker Social
Creative thinker Interpersonal communicator
Easily adapts Friendly personality


Content knowledge and expertise is needed in the workplace, but there are many other skills that will help determine a person’s effectiveness and chances for success.


  • SEL also provides return on investment!

The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning report produced in 2015 revealed that on average, for every dollar invested in SEL programming yields $11 in long-term benefits. These benefits include reduced juvenile crime, higher lifetime earnings, and better mental and physical health.