Last week, the EdComs team attended the Festival of Education in the stunning grounds of Wellington College. EdComs Chief Strategy Officer Liz Watts was given top billing on Friday afternoon to speak about the new ‘Employability Capital’ framework.
Employability is a hot topic in schools, but what does employability really mean for students? The labour market is competitive and constantly changing, and it can be hard for young people to identify the skills that employers really want and are willing to pay for. For an employer looking at CVs, academic success is not enough; students need to be able to articulate the skills and experience they have and be able to apply them in different situations.
Based on robust research evidence, EdComs has created ‘Employability Capital’, a framework for employability that will help employers, schools and young people ensure that they take a rounded view of what ‘employability’ means. Speaking at the festival, Liz highlighted how the framework can help employers and schools work together to help young people – particularly the most disadvantaged – develop the ‘employability capital’ they need to transition successfully into the world of work. The framework looks at five areas – how to navigate of the labour market, the skills needed, getting practice in the workplace, networking and reflecting.
The key element that is often missing is reflection – thinking about what your skills, strengths, preferences and values are. What have you learnt or experienced? How do you feel about a particular career path or type of work? How can you present yourself in a way that will make you stand out?
Joined by Schools Week Features Editor, Catherine Murray; Natasha Palladino at School 21 and Ben Churchill, Corporate Responsibility Manager at KPMG, the panel spoke of the need for teachers and schools to forge links with industry and to encourage students to have ‘meaningful’ encounters with employers, in order to ensure their young people stand the best chance of getting their future career off to a good start.