WorkXperience - Employability Skills
At the initial commencement/induction meeting with the work experience student, it is important for an employer to explain what is meant by ‘employability’ and the importance of certain skills in the workplace. Alongside the daily work and routines that the student will experience, it is useful to encourage students to observe and set personal objectives with regard to the many ‘soft skills’ that provide the backdrop to the work being undertaken.
Note: Students can record their personal objectives in their WorkXperience Diary and Workbook that forms an optional part of the WorkXperience programme.
If undertaken, outline how you will assess the student in relation to these competencies on the completion of their work experience. A sample Skills Evaluation Form is provided in the 'Resources' section available when you are registered on the programme.
Employability skills can be broken down under three main areas of competence, namely People Skills, Task Skills and Personal Skills. Some examples of each are provided below along with some examples of tasks which would assist in developing and assessing these competencies:
- People Skills:
- Active Listening - Watch to see if full attention is being given to what other people are saying, if they take the time to understand the points being made, asks questions as needed, and does not interrupt inappropriately.
- Team Membership - If possible assign some of the students’ time to join in on group work, and encourage participation where appropriate.
- Respect - encourage interaction with people from diverse backgrounds and different levels of authority within the organisation. Do they take the feelings, needs, thoughts, wishes and preferences of others (including other cultures and races) into consideration, and give them worth and value?
- Task Skills:
- Time Management - offer opportunities to manage their time efficiently. e.g. punctual clocking in/out, achieve tasks on time, allocate appropriate time to record information and finish what is started.
- Computer Skills - encourage the use of a computer to write and print documents, and use email programs. Provide basic training on any in-house computer systems. Encourage them to prepare a report on their placement, or conduct some internet based research, etc.
- Customer Focus - If appropriate, allow the student to engage with customers and learn how to develop an understanding and concern for customers needs.
- Independence - allow the student to perform tasks with minimum help or approval, or without direct supervision.
- Learning - provide some work related training and opportunities to learn. Watch for an interest in personal learning and development. Encourage questioning and assertiveness.
- Dependability - offer tasks that require a degree of responsibility.
For a comprehensive list of the employability skills used on the WorkXperience programme, click here