Last week was Kirklees Employability Week, an event to help develop students by teaching them the skills that will help make them more desirable to employers. These were delivered through workshops, classroom activities and careers conventions at Kirklees College by employers, staff and the College’s Careers Advice Service, including a Job Fair which we attended, allowing students to ask questions about working in the social media and marketing industry.
A 2012 employer survey revealed that, out of the sample 542 employers, 81% valued employability skills far above other factors, such as degree subject (70%) or class (46%). These general skills are universally desirable and can be transferred between jobs, which perfectly suits the millennial workforce, who typically forgo the concept of a “career for life” for a more malleable work life.
An example of the most commonly requested skills are:
- Communication and interpersonal skills (written and verbal)
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Initiative and self-motivation
- Planning and organisational skills
- Ability to learn and adapt
- Time management
With the current saturation of the job market, employers are able to be fussier about who they pick for a role. If you have similar qualifications to the next person applying, you’re going to need something to help you stand out; this is where employability comes into the equation. These skills don’t require a qualification or for you to attend a workshop to show, as examples can be found in all areas of life.
We had a great time and hope that we helped students understand what employers are looking for in their potential employees, and hopefully inspire a few of them to pursue a life in the social media and marketing industry!