‘Employability’ has become a big issue in business and a major hurdle for job-hunters, young people especially. With so many graduates job-hunting, and ‘credentialism’ having so inflated entry levels for jobs, getting on that first rung of the employment ladder or making a career move can be a challenge. Sometimes young people are so focussed on the employer, job or career-path that they don’t focus on all the basic, professional skills that they need to flourish at work. Employers are clear that a degree is not enough. In any business setting there are generic, employabilty skills that the job-holder needs to be equipped with – things like teaming skills; research ability; and good emotional literacy and regulation. So what are these skills and how do you get them? 20 employability skills are explained in the Employability Skills framework. This is a brilliant learning and assessment tool that we have used with hundreds of young workers and under-graduates. Assess yourself against these criteria and see, on a scale of 1 to 10, how far you think you have these skills. What evidence do you have to show that you have these skills? Where can you improve? What experiences – studying, part-time work, your own research, voluntary work etc. – can you get to meet these skill-areas? Not everyone can score highly in every area, so focus on the biggest gaps. Looking for jobs or career moves does mean that job-hunters need to prepare and know where they are strong. Also seeking out experiences to make up gaps in employability skills is important. In the future, generic employabilty skills will become more and more important in getting a job, keeping it, enjoying it and developing careers.
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