The education system needs to focus on communication and soft skills, said Michael Milanovic, chief executive of Cambridge English Language Assessment.

While speaking at a conference on ‘Developing English Language Skills to Enhance Graduate Employability’ on Wednesday, he said: “We have observed that there is a significant focus on technical skills, but there is probably inadequate focus on communication and soft skills.”

Though several Indian companies are recruiting more people, off late, there has been a tendency to employ those who are not skilled at communication. Making the observation that technical skills were important, Mr. Milanovic said that if communication skills were not satisfactory however, it may not be easy to get a job.

The role of English is clear and it has been seen as a necessary tool for success in the last few years; but getting teachers who actually operate with good standards of English has been a challenging factor, he said.

T.K. Arunachalam, regional director, South Asia, Cambridge English Language Assessment, said they have been working with teachers in schools and colleges in Tamil Nadu and offer workshops.

“We don’t work directly with the government or school students; instead, we train teachers. This is a sustainable solution. Over the last few years, over 800 teachers have attended our workshops,” he added.

He said that they were looking at ways to train teachers both in terms of methodology and language.

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