DESC Careers Information, Advice and Guidance Service

What are Employability Skills?

Employability skills are a set of skills or behaviours that are required for any job. Whether you are working in construction, finance, retail or computing employability skills, enable you to work well with others, apply knowledge to solve problems and adapt to different tasks and environments. In Primary school these will have been referred to as the 6Rs or learning dispositions but as you get older you will use different words to frame these same skills.

A career for life is becoming less likely, most people, over the course of their working life will hold jobs with a variety of employers or work on different projects. Being prepared and successful in the world of work means that you will need to understand that we all have a set of employability skills. These are skills that are not specific to one particular career path but are useful across all employment sectors.

How will they help me?

Your education and experience may make you eligible to apply for a job, to be successful in most roles, you will need skills that you are likely to develop over time. Some skills will be specific to the job which you may learn through completing a qualification or on the job training. Others will be 'employability' skills’ that can be used in any job or employment sector. Employers are often willing to help you to learn, the job-specific skills required, such as how to operate machinery, or use particular computer packages. Employability skills are what you will talk about in a course or job interview and will help you to get the place on a course or the job you really want.


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