Original Research

Soft employability skills obtained from a nongovernmental organisation’s labour market intervention

Cecile M. Schultz
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 48 | a1912 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v48i0.1912 | © 2022 Cecile M. Schultz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 May 2021 | Published: 27 October 2022

About the author(s)

Cecile M. Schultz, Department People Management and Development, Faculty Management Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: Employability development is needed to alleviate poverty in South Africa. This study sought to examine employability development, with specific reference to soft employability skills within a low-income community in Gauteng province of South Africa.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the labour market intervention offered by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Gauteng added value to learners with specific reference to soft skills (behavioural and psychosocial) needed to become employable.

Motivation for the study: Soft employability skills are essential because they are highly demanded by employers today. It is not clear whether the learners from an NGO have obtained soft employability skills (behavioural and psychosocial) during the skills training intervention.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative constructivist approach was utilised. Using purposive sampling, 33 learners from an NGO participated in email interviews. The email interviews were analysed by using four steps prescribed by grounded theory researchers.

Main findings: The study results highlight two themes that represent soft employability skills, namely, soft employability behavioural skills and soft employability psychosocial skills.

Practical/managerial implications: The study provides government and NGOs with an understanding of soft employability skills valued by unemployed low-income workers.

Contribution/value-add: This research contributes to literature by expanding the knowledge of soft employability behavioural skills and soft employability psychosocial skills. Forgiveness seems to be a new soft employability psychosocial skill, as it was not found in the theories and frameworks used in this article.


soft employability behavioural skills; soft employability psychosocial skills; labour market intervention; constructivist grounded theory; qualitative research; non-governmental organisation; Gauteng; South Africa


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Crossref Citations

1. Developing and Validating a Soft Skills Assessment Scale for Psychoeducational Assessment
Fiji Phuti, Setlhomo Koloi-Keaikitse, Gaelebale Nnunu Tsheko, Seth Oppong
SAGE Open  vol: 13  issue: 4  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1177/21582440231218066