Employability Skills and Personal Qualities

Employers seek workers with specific skills and qualities. These are personal and academic aptitudes that are required regardless of the type of work taking place. Students need to focus on the development of such attributes in order to succeed in their chosen career. Hence, the fostering of personal skills and academic capacities certainly are vitally relevant to one’s career development.

 A large study funded by the Department of Education, Science and Training and conducted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Business Council of Australia was undertaken back in 2002. This study culminated in a report identifying key non-technical employability skills important not only to gaining employment but also to effective employee performance. This framework is undergoing further research and development and has been renamed as Core Skills for Employment (see http://deewr.gov.au/employability-skills for more details).

The personal attributes that were found to contribute to overall employability are:

  • loyalty, commitment, honesty and integrity, enthusiasm, reliability, personal presentation, common sense, positive self esteem, a sense of humour, a balanced attitude to work and home life, an ability to deal with pressure, motivation and adaptability. I think you’ll agree these are all developmental characteristics that are strongly promoted at our school.

The key skills identified are:

  • Communication (including listening, empathizing, speaking clearly and directly, persuading effectively, being assertive, writing to the needs of the audience etc.)
  • Team work (working across different ages and irrespective of gender, race, religion, working as an individual and as a member of a term etc.)
  • Problem solving (developing creative, innovative and practical solutions, solving problems in teams, using mathematics to solve problems etc.)
  • Initiative and enterprise (adapting to new situations, being creative, translating ideas into action, identifying opportunities not obvious to others etc.)
  • Planning and organising (managing time and priorities, being resourceful, taking initivative and making decisions, collecting, analyzing and organizing information etc.)
  • Self-management (having a personal vision and goals, evaluating and monitoring own performance, articulating own ideas and visions, taking responsibility etc.)
  • Learning (managing own learning, using a range of mediums to learn, having enthusiasm for ongoing learning, being open to new ideas and techniques etc.)
  • Technology (having a range of basic IT skills, using IT to organise data, being willing to learn new IT skills etc.).