Employability Skills (a.k.a ‘soft skills’) can be defined as the transferable skills needed by an individual to make them ‘employable’. Along with good technical understanding and subject knowledge, employers often outline a set of ‘soft skills’ that they want from an employee. These are general skills/abilities, such as ‘flexibility’, that can be applied to almost any working environment.
Whilst qualifications open the door to an interview, it is the ‘soft skills’ that often land a person the job and, more importantly, allow them to keep it. A recent CBI survey of the 500 largest companies within the United Kingdom, highlighted just how important these skills (labelled as ‘aptitude for work’) are to companies:
Most large companies now use an in-depth interview process that allows them to identify and select the candidates with the strongest employability skill sets. It is therefore vitally important that these skills are not ignored or left to change, as a young person develops.
Here at Abraham Darby Academy, we are extremely keen to promote the development of employability skills and have identified ten ‘Superskills’ that we are particularly keen for our students to focus upon. Those skills are shown in the image below:
To facilitate the development of these superskills, we have a number of initiatives and procedures in place:
Explicit teaching of superskills within INSIGHT lessons
Implicit teaching of superskills with subject lessons
Shared projects with local companies that challenge students to develop these skills within real world working contexts
Superskills development tracking using skills logs and online support resources
There are two very useful online resources that students also can use outside of school to evaluate their current skill sets and match them to possible careers:
Start Profile allows students to complete a profile that evaluates their current employability skills, as well as their interests and perspectives. This information is then matched to a number of jobs that would be most suitable to that individual. The website also contains an excellent jobs information section.