Building your skills

Learning outcome

  • Assess and compare personal skills to identify development needs
  • Develop an action plan for program and co-curricular activities to enhance employment opportunities

Background

It is important that students can identify the skills they are already using and be able to articulate them. In this topic, students will think about what generic skills (sometimes referred to as ‘soft’ skills, professional skills or transferable skills) they already have and what evidence they could give to potential employers to support their claims. They will also be able to identify any gaps in their current skill base and think about actions they may be able to take NOW, while they are studying, to develop these.

Prior to completing this topic, it is preferable that students have completed ‘Skills for Employment” and have an understanding of the generic skills that employers are looking for.

Suggested Activities and discussion

Suggested activities include. It is recommended that these are completed in sequential order

1. Recap on what generic skills are and what are the skills that employers are looking for – see ‘Skills for Employment’ topic.

2. Skills audit - students to complete online skills audit. This activity will help students to identify the generic skills they already have and the skills that they need to develop further. This activity identifies 8 key skills that employers generally look for in potential employees. Each skill is broken down into 3 skill elements or components of each skill. It is possible that a student may be able to demonstrate all, some or none of these elements of each skill. Encourage students to carefully consider each element and to think about examples (from part-time work, WIL, volunteering, sport etc) to provide as evidence of demonstrating this skill. After completing the audit, the student will be provided with a rating identifying which skills they might focus on building. They might also consider which skills are most relevant to their areas of interest.

Students should be encouraged to revisit their skills in approx. 6 months time to reflect on their progress and to set some new priorities as they build their skills

3. Online skills builder – After completing the skills audit students can access the online skills builder which provides suggestions about ways in which they can build their skills while they are students.

4. Develop skills action plan – students are to select a number of skills that they would like to develop while they are studying that they believe will increase their employability. Students are to complete a simple skills action plan which outlines:

It is important that students are encouraged to revisit this plan at a later stage and reflect on their progress. This may be built into future activities or assessment tasks.

Further Resources

Alternative skills audit - Reflection on past experiences and skills – ask students to think about the experiences they have been involved in. These might include work related activities or they might be extracurricular or co-curricular activities. Break each of these into tasks that are performed as part of that activity. Encourage students to identify the skills they developed while undertaking these tasks. Students can complete attached skills audit to complete this activity.

Mode

Face to face or flipped classroom

Time

Approx. 1 hour

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