The Litmus team made its radio debut on March 31 as Project Co-ordinator Lauren Brown and Trinity College Outreach co-ordinator Jon Datta spoke to BBC Cambridgeshire host Emily Martin during her afternoon show.
Described by Martin as “a brilliant opportunity for young people to get creative”, the trio explored the scientifically proven academic and interpersonal benefits of creative writing on myriad areas of life and shared their exciting plans for the future.
Lauren said: “Since last year, which was the inaugural year of the Litmus project, we’ve developed a growing social media presence, we’re hoping to have a celebration event in the summer to mark the students’ achievements and in the future we’re looking at potentially opening up different categories – for example short film submissions, visual art.
“It’s still in its early stages but we’ve got a strong vision for where we’d like the project to go and feel like we’re at the start of a really exciting journey.”
Expanding on his on-air emphasis regarding how developing and cultivating soft skills is vital to preparing young people for the future, especially now, Jon said: “Changes in our future work skill base will be largely driven by automation, and it’s worth reflecting on the skills that machines find hardest to replicate. You don’t have to spend a lot of time scouring job adverts to spot what employers are consistently seeking in the people they are after – the essential skills that are valuable to any employer: listening, speaking, problem solving, creativity, staying positive, aiming high, leadership and teamwork.”
He added that while the skills they teach in schools are very important there really is not enough focus on the critical skills needed to achieve success in the workplace of the future.
“Creativity and emotional intelligence are just as or even more important.”
The full BBC Cambridgeshire conversation can be found here.
Jon is responsible for Trinity College’s partnerships with educational outreach organisations as well as oversight of their widening participation and access programme. Prior to his current role, he was a senior leader and award-winning Maths teacher across a variety of challenging secondary schools across East and North London and, most recently, as Director of School Improvement for a school trust in Hertfordshire.
Lauren is a freelance journalist, writer and author.