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Recognising and Developing Employability Skills in an Educational Context Facilitated by Stuart Moss Leeds Metropolitan University

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Presentation on theme: "Recognising and Developing Employability Skills in an Educational Context Facilitated by Stuart Moss Leeds Metropolitan University"— Presentation transcript:

1 Recognising and Developing Employability Skills in an Educational Context Facilitated by Stuart Moss Leeds Metropolitan University s.moss@leedsmet.ac.uk

2 All about me and my Lifelong Learning… From Yorkshire Disliked school Failed ‘A’ Levels Worked and saved Went to Australia Worked in telecoms and saved lots more Moved to London Became a mature student at Leeds Met in 1997 Became a lecturer in 2001 Became a Senior lecturer in 2003 Published first book in 2005, second book in 2009 Still developing, still learning

3 Time to WAKE UP Move yourself around the room to join a study group of 5-6 people. Put your chairs in a circle, and re- introduce yourselves.

4 ‘There were four people named EVERYBODY, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY and NOBODY. There was an important job to be done and EVERYBODY was asked to do it. EVERYBODY was sure that SOMEBODY would do it. ANYBODY could have done it, but NOBODY did it. SOMEBODY got angry about that, because it was EVERYBODYS job. EVERYBODY thought ANYBODY could do it but NOBODY realised that EVERYBODY wouldn’t do it. It ended up that EVERYBODY blamed SOMEBODY when NOBODY did what ANYBODY could have done…..’ (Denny, 1993, p.89) A Familiar Story?

5 Each Team Needs 1 sheet of A1 paper. 1 Felt Tip Pen. Divide your paper up into 8 sections and number them as below. 1234 5678

6 Task 1 Consider the term ‘employability’ – what does it mean to you? How might you define employability? As a group, write the title ‘Employability is…’ and then give a definition in box 1.

7 Definition Employability relates to a graduate's achievements and their potential to gain a graduate job. Achievements relates to the degree itself but importantly also includes transferable skills gained from studying at university. (University of Reading, 2008)

8 Definition A set of achievements, understandings and personal attributes that make individuals more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen careers. (Knight and Yorke, 2003)

9 Definition Employability is about having the capability to gain initial employment, maintain employment and obtain new employment if required. –For the individual, employability depends on: –their assets in terms of the knowledge, skills and attitudes they possess; –the way they use and deploy those assets; –the way they present them to employers; –and crucially, the context (eg personal circumstances and labour market environment) within which they seek work. (IES, 2008)

10 Employability skills Ultimately skills that make you more employable. Skills embedded in your curriculum and demonstrated through your assessments.

11 Developing Employability Skills Five stage process: –Awareness –Practice –Feedback –Reflection –Further practice post- feedback

12 Task 2 In your groups, think about how you might develop employability skills in your university / college environment. Write the title ‘Developing Skills’ and some of your shared thoughts down in box number 2.

13 When are Your Skills Developed? Specific modules relating to skills development. ‘Management’ classes. ‘Consultancy’ classes. Work based learning. Work placements. All of your assessments.

14 How do I know what skills I am developing? ObjectivesModules BSDBICTIOBDABABEAccHRMITM Collect, collate and categorise ideas and information in a predictable and standard format Select quantitative techniques and use them to solve well defined problems Formulate solutions to clearly defined problems Challenge received opinion from a position of knowledge and begin to develop own criteria and judgement Participate effectively as a team member Function effectively as a more independent learner

15 Historically Experience has showed us that this has been an undervalued subject area. Poor attendances and low achievement in class. ‘Knock-on’ effect on other modules.

16 Task 3 Consider a standard written piece of work that you have carried out, such as an essay or a report. In box 3 write the title ‘Skills Developed’, and list as many skills as you can think of.

17 Skills Gained from Undertaking Written Assignments –Scheduling work; planning; Information gathering; research; note-taking; referencing; literacy; time management; computer skills; critical thinking; working to deadlines.

18 Presentations: –Scheduling work; planning; Information gathering; research; note-taking; Harvard referencing; literacy; time management; ICT; critical thinking; public speaking; confidence; thinking on your feet! Exams: –Some of the above; memory and revision techniques; working under pressure. Developing Skills Through Assessment

19 The Employer ‘A survey of over 250 managers in the UK conducted by the Chartered Management Institute found that graduates whilst in the main were competent with Information Technology (IT) were lacking in basic communication and interpersonal skills, including teamwork, presentation skills, and problem solving‘ (DoctorJob, 2002, p.4). The Association of Graduate Recruiters ascertained that over half of graduates recruited into the workplace lacked team working and communication skills, as well as cultural awareness (BBC, 2006).

20 The Employer Employers rank the importance of skills/qualities Communication skills Strong work ethic Teamwork skills (works well with others) Initiative Analytical skills Computer skills Flexibility/adaptability Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) Problem-solving skills Technical skills (ResumeBear, 2009)

21 Task 4 On the following slide is some text from an actual job advert. In box 4 on your sheet, can you write the title ‘Skills and Abilities Identified’ and then list all of the skills and abilities that the employer is looking for.

22 The Job Advert “The successful applicant will be determined and energetic, with a high level of numeracy, ICT, literacy, research and presentation skills. They will be capable of working effectively as an individual and as a part of a team. They will have the ability...proven or latent...to manage people now or in the not-too-distant future, and make things happen.”

23 The Job Advert “The successful applicant will be determined and energetic, with a high level of numeracy, ICT, literacy, research and presentation skills. They will be capable of working effectively to deadlines as an individual and as a part of a team. They will have the ability...proven or latent...to manage people now or in the not-too-distant future, and make things happen.”

24 Task 5 In box 5 can you write ‘Skills Practiced’ and give examples for when you have demonstrated the skills and abilities in box 4 in the past.

25 So let’s study some of those terms… Determined –Through thick and thin; times of stress; meeting deadlines; Getting a first. Energetic –When did you last go the extra mile? Numeracy –Statistical analysis of quantitative data.

26 So let’s study some of those terms… ICT –Every assignment; you DO have good ICT skills. Literacy –Reading and writing – when did you last do that? Research –Academically taught and finely honed research skills; when didn’t you last have to research?; The ‘D’ word.

27 So let’s study some of those terms… Presentation skills –PowerPoint and beyond; public speaking; the presentation of your work; your professional image. Working effectively to deadlines –Most of the work that you undertake. Individual –Working alone. Working effectively as a part of a team –Group work; sports; employment.

28 So let’s study some of those terms… Manage people –Group working responsibilities; relationships with those around you; organisation and managing self. Make things happen –Innovation; creativity; problem solving; achievement.

29 Project You need to put together a team, who will be given the task of organising a party at a night-club. The party will be on a particular date, it must have a theme, there will be a financial budget. What sort of skills would you want people in your team to have?

30 Task 6 In box 6 on your sheet, can you write the title ‘Skills needed’ and underneath this write a short advert to recruit people into your team. Your advert must list the skills that you need team members to have.

31 Selling Yourself Selling and negotiating skills are essential for managers; You probably already utilise these skills without even knowing it; Ultimately they result in one person doing something at another person’s request.

32 Selling Your Skills Whenever you are presenting yourself at an interview you are selling: –Your ideas; –Your ability; –Your integrity.

33 Professionalism –Presentation style and technique –Integrity –Composure –Knowledge

34 ‘Know your enemy’ Sun-Tzu (The Art of War)

35 The Funnel Introduce yourself Get their attention Build your credibility Know the requirements Maintain interest Fine details Negotiation Sale Instil desire

36 Feedback Everyone SHOULD receive feedback, especially after interviews. Read your feedback BEFORE your grade. What does it tell you? Consider it as constructive, build upon your mistakes. Stay clear of the ‘crumple zone’.

37 Task 7 In box number 7 on your sheet, write the title ‘Feedback’, then stick your sheet to the wall using Blue-Tack. Take your pen, and go around the room as a group looking at everybody else’s sheet – write some feedback in each box number 7.

38 Further Action Post Feedback Stay motivated. Talk to other people. Learn from your mistakes – and the mistakes of others. Carry out the task(s) again – using your feedback as guidance.

39 Developing Your Employability Skills is a Cyclic Process

40 Task 8 In box number 8 write the title ‘Reflection’ – then write how you feel about the feedback you have got.

41 Thankyou Dank u, Danke, Merci, Grazie, ありがとう, 감사합니다, Σας ευχαριστώ, Gracias, 谢谢 Any Questions???

42 References British Broadcasting Corporation. (2006) Graduate demand outstrips skills. [Internet] London, BBC. URL available from Accessed 1st November, 2006. Doctorjob. (2002) Ill Communication. Doctorjob. Summer 2002, p.4. Hind, D. and Moss, S. (2005) Employability skills. Sunderland, Business Education Publishers Ltd. Institute for Employment Studies. (2008) Employability: developing a framework for policy analysis. London, IES. URL available from: Accessed 23 rd November, 2008. Knight, P. and Yorke, M. (2003) Learning, curriculum and employability in higher education. London, Routledge. ResumeBear. (2009) Top skills employers want and new graduates lack. [Internet] URL available from: Accessed 21 st November, 2009. University of Reading (2008) Jargonbuster. [Internet] Reading, UoR. URL available from: Accessed 20 th November, 2008.


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