Employability

Firstly where has the term gone.  I suppose time fly’s when you are having fun.  My role within school is heavily involved employer engagement; enterprise and providing students will business opportunities.  I am very fortunate to get the opportunity to speak with businesses on a regular basis on how they can support our students in their curriculum.  What is becoming apparent is the need for students to develop employability skills and be ready for the world of work.

Employability, Entrepreneurship or Enterprise?  In my view all a different and can be taken in different contexts.  In this blog I am going to address employability.  How can we best develop employability in our school curriculum and explain them to students.  At a recent meeting of the Education Business Partnership in Hull the topic for the breakfast meeting focused on this issue.  Before the meeting representatives from Business and Education had to think about and bring with them their top 5 employability skills.  Here are mine:

  • Willingness to Learn
  • Organisation
  • Punctuality
  • Attitude
  • Reflection and Improvement

The EBP went around the room get ideas from employers getting their ideas.  Some were the same or written using different language or for some businesses there are different priorities or skills and qualities.   It will be interesting to find out the overall results.  The EBP provide invaluable opportunities to engage with business and link business with education.  The business community in Hull is first class, words don’t really do it justice with the level of support and time the community is prepared to dedicate.  It is certainly a great place to work and build partnerships.

Social media has become an important aspect of my role and has enabled me to engage with a number of local businesses and to develop new opportunities.   I feel it is important to demonstrate to students the importance of using social media in a positive way and can be used as a learning /engaging tool.  I sent a tweet asking what employability skills businesses are looking for.

@Stephen_Logan: My top employability skill is willingness to learn. What’s yours?

Here are a selection of the responses, thank you to those businesses that responded and contributed.

@sellerslegalhul Sellers Legal Hull common sense! How many ‘top class’ graduates lack common sense.

@SchoolCouncils School Councils UK My top #employability skill is good work ethic

@enterprisegran Lynda Dixon Mine is flexibility. Our young people have to be able to cope with change and keep their can-do attitude in all situations.

@HullEsteemLEP HullEsteemLEP @Stephen_Logan @humberebp Ambition, enthusiasm, desire to work, desire to learn, and confidence. #employability

@HC_Business Business Matters Reflect & improve

@childrenuni ‘Can do’ positive attitude and willingness to learn on the job.

@force7tweets Enthusiasm, potential ideas, energy and a willingness to learn on the job.

If education and the business community find it difficult and don’t agree on employability, what hope to young people have.  Wouldn’t it be great if it were possible to come with a common language of what employers are looking for in a young person?  As a teacher I see students demonstrate employability skills on a daily basis in my lesson, they include:

  • Attitude and willingness to learn
  • Punctuality
  • Reliability
  • Team Work
  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Positive attitude

 Why is employability important? 

The youth unemployment total, which includes people in full-time education who are available and looking for work, increased by 74,000 to 991,000 between June and August source http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15255221 This highlights the importance of employability more than ever.  Is it not important to relate what students are doing to the world of work and demonstrate how the skills learnt in school can be developed and relate the real world?  The challenge is how do we communicate develop and embed employability in the curriculum.   I will keep you updated via the blog and twitter.

Follow me on twitter Stephen_Logan

www.stephentlogan.wordpress.com

Further reading

CBI Employability Skills

http://educationandskills.cbi.org.uk/employability_policy/what-are-employability-skills/

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2 thoughts on “Employability

  1. You talk a lot of sense, Stephen! Defining employability has been discussed for years in the learning & skills policy arena and different bodies have come up with similar lists of skills and attribute (e.g. CBI, UKCES, NUS etc) based on research with real companies. I’ve used 8 core capabilities from the CBI in my recent book, ‘Learning to leap, a Guide to Being More Employable’. Individual organisations will put their own emphasis on different ones depending on business strategy.

    Some thoughts on your point about Employability, Entrepreneurship & Enterprise. I think to be employable requires people to be entrepreneurial and enterprising; that running your own business requires employability capability (for you and your staff if you have any); and that employability is not the same as employment.

    atb
    David

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