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The authors state that they have disliked for many years the use of the term ‘soft skills’. They argue that the term, either purposefully or inadvertently, has downgraded what are a core set of skills, to be seen as less serious or less worthy of consideration in educational policy circles, compared with what are known as ‘hard skills’. However, internationally the OECD has now cited the imperative for countries to prioritise these ‘soft’ skills and push them to the fore across their schooling systems, as the competencies required by industry, individuals and societies. The authors explain the need for changes in curriculum and assessment, if such reform is to be achieved.