Document Abstract

How are schools developing real employability skills?

Looks at how schools are developing employability skills among pupils. Draws on: existing literature assessing the skills and behaviours young people need to find work and progress in the workplace; discussions with professionals involved in recruitment; and the findings from a survey of 626 secondary school teaching staff in England. Identifies seven employability skills (problem solving, communication, self-management, teamwork, creativity, numeracy, digital skills) and five ‘competencies’ (confidence, drive, resilience, reflection) found to be most frequently cited by employers. Looks at how these skills and competencies are being developed in different school-based environments. Finds that: 90% of teachers believe that the top five skills and two of the four competencies cited by employers are developed in school; and teachers believe that teamwork, confidence, communication, creativity and problem solving are the top skills and competencies developed through extra-curricular activities. Observes that current government policy, such as the narrower curriculum and increased content and exam-focus of GCSEs and A levels, are standing in the way of young people developing the skills necessary for working life (32% of teachers said changes to the Key Stage 3 curriculum have been detrimental to developing the skills and attitudes needed, and 47% of teachers believe that there are fewer opportunities to develop employability skills and competencies since the introduction of the reformed GCSEs and A levels).


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Kashefpakdel, Elnaz; Newton, Olly; Clark, Janet
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Edge Foundation

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