Ready for Work? How Afterschool Programs Can Support Employability Through Social and Emotional Learning

Afterschool brief cover

Understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that ultimately contribute to success in school, work, and life is a priority for educators and employers. Young people need a variety of important skills to be ready to work, including understanding key work habits and having a strong work ethic. But another aspect of employability has gained attention in recent years—the need for strong social and emotional skills in order to be successful in the workplace.

Our series of briefs, Beyond the Bell: Turning Research into Action in Afterschool and Expanded Learning, is designed to make research on the afterschool and expanded learning field accessible and easy to read. In our second brief in the series we define employability skills with a focus on social and emotional competencies and then present research on why they are important. We share how social and emotional learning programs and practices can support the development of these skills and how afterschool and expanded learning settings are an ideal place for this to happen.