Employability Skills for IT
QCF Level 3:
Guided learning hours: 60
Aim and purpose
The aim of this unit is to ensure that learners understand both the personal attributes valued by employers and the principles of communicating effectively whist developing effective communication skills and addressing their own personal development needs.
Non-technical skills and attitudes, known as soft skills, and the technical skills and knowledge required for specific jobs in IT are key to employability. Soft skills are those skills relating to an individual’s ability to communicate and work effectively with others, to use appropriate language, be dependable and conscientious, and to generally behave in an acceptable manner in the workplace. Soft skills complement hard skills, which are the knowledge, understanding and technical skills required to do a job. In this unit learners will come to appreciate the soft skills they need to develop to become effective employees. Learners will identify and consider their own soft skills and, through practise, improve these skills. Communication skills are key to success in any sector but are particularly important in highly technical sectors, such as IT, where the language used can become full of jargon. It is important that learners are able to communicate with non-technical staff and understand when different types and vehicles of communication are appropriate.
IT provides specific software packages and advanced tools that can be used to improve the effectiveness of communications. Through this unit learners will be able to improve their general communication skills and ensure that they understand how to exploit specific application packages and tools. All individuals, whether learners or employees, must accept the need for continual self-development to maintain their effectiveness. For this reason, learning outcome 4 involves the use of personal development plans which can be used to capture and track training needs, and the accumulation of new skills and knowledge.
On completion of this unit a learner should:
Understand the personal attributes valued by employers
Understand the principles of effective communication
Be able to use IT to communicate effectively
Be able to address personal development needs.
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Nationals specification in Information Technology – Issue 3 – September 2010 © Edexcel Limited 2010
1 Understand the personal attributes valued by employers
Specific attributes: job-related eg technical knowledge; good working procedures eg health and safety, security; work attitudes
General attributes: skills eg planning skills, organisational skills, time management, team working, verbal skills, written communication skills, numeracy, creativity
Attitudes: preferred eg determined, independent, integrity, tolerance, dependable, problem solving, leadership, confidence, self-motivation
2 Understand the principles of effective communication
Principles: general skills; interpersonal skills; written communication skills General communication skills: cultural differences; adapting eg modulating voice, terminology, format; accuracy; engaging audience eg changing intonation, use of technology; question and answer Interpersonal skills: methods eg verbal exchanges, signing, lip reading; techniques and cues eg body language, use of intonation; positive language; negative language; active engagement eg nodding, summarising, paraphrasing; barriers eg background noise, distractions, lack of concentration; types of question eg open, closed, probing; speed of response
Communicate in writing: guidelines; ‘smileys’ or emoticons, key messages eg letter, fax, email; grammar; spelling; structure; identifying relevance; proofreading; alternative viewpoints; note taking;...
Links: Bolton R – People Skills (Simon & Schuster, 1986) ISBN-10 067162248X, ISBN-13 978-0671622480
Barker A – Improve Your Communication Skills, 2nd Edition (Kogan Page, 2006) ISBN-10 0749448229,
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