Best Practice

Teaching employability skills

Every one of Congleton High School’s leavers in 2013 are now in education, employment or training. Executive principal David Hermitt explains how the schools focuses on teaching students the skills needed for today’s workplace.

Employability skills are generic, or transferable, skills or qualities highly valued by employers, such as team working, communication, problem-solving, resilience, creativity, and a “can-do” attitude.

There is no statutory requirement for schools to provide such skills but it is, of course, in the students’ and prospective employers’ best interests to provide opportunities for them to develop these skills. Qualifications, technical skills and experience can be acquired, but if an employee lacks a good work ethic and the ability to communicate effectively, then he or she will probably be less effective in the workplace.

Employability skills give students the resources to cope with the wide range of demands and experiences that they will meet in the workplace. To give school-leavers the extra edge before entering the workplace, Congleton High School provides them with an Engineering Achievement Course qualification that includes these employability skills. This qualification does not help the school in terms of its league table rankings but it does demonstrate to employers that the student is ready for work.

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