What are employability skills?
Employability skills are non-technical or generic skills, such as communication, team work and problem solving, which contribute to your ability to be an effective and successful participant in the workplace. They are sometimes referred to as key, core, life, essential, or soft skills. Unlike many technical skills, employability skills are transferable between jobs.
Given the value employers place on workplace experience, entry-level positions can be a great place for you to develop these skills. Employers place a strong emphasis on the need for both entry-level and ongoing employees to exhibit a broad range of attributes. As a result, employers often reject applicants who are suitable in many other respects, even those who hold elevated qualifications because they do not have the required employability skills they desire.
Employers look for employability skills particularly when there are large numbers of applicants, or when choosing between competing applicants that are suitable in other respects. This makes employability skills especially important, with the most commonly reported difficulty in finding work among unemployed persons in the past year being ‘Too many applicants for available jobs’ 1.
The importance of employability skills is highlighted further by the fact that it is now a requirement of nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training Packages to embed employability skills into course content. In order to find out what employability skills can be gained in a particular training package or course, just enter the course code into the search box on employabilityskills.training.com.au.
There are eight identified employability skills and these are summarized below. While employers consider all eight to be important, particular jobs may require some more than others. For example, jobs in the retail industry may require strong communication skills, whereas jobs in administration may...
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