New Focus on Employability Skills…

One of the greatest challenges in curriculum design is squeezing it all in. Increasingly, this is becoming a challenge with many leaders voicing deep concern at the apparent marginalisation of their subjects. In many cases, these are the true passions of some of our learners and the very thing that motivates them to get out of bed and go to school.


Alongside this sits the question of how to ensure that these same learners have the necessary skills, attitudes and aptitudes to glide smoothly from education into employment. Schools have designed all kinds of models to do just this; drop down days, visits and trips, CEIAG learning at tutor time – the list is long. The real test of success, however, comes when the students are asked to articulate exactly why they had that visit from that business leader who talked about their job and precisely what they gained from it.


Employers don’t just value what people know; they value what they know.”  Rod Bristow, UK and Core, Pearson.


The Right Combination: a joint Education and Skills Survey conducted by the CBI and Pearson Education in 2016 explores the issue of ensuring that the next generation leave the education system with a balance of relevant qualifications and necessary skills to thrive in the work place.


By far the most important factor employers weigh up when recruiting school and college leavers is their attitude to work (89%) followed by their aptitude for work (66%); these rank well ahead of formal qualifications (23%).” CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2016: The Right Combination.


Employability and Careers Education is ever more prevalent on the curriculum agenda but still it poses those age old questions. How can employability skills be embedded into the curriculum in such a way that the learning is visible to the learner? How can we avoid the trap of running an excellent drop down day, for example, where students explore the skills of team-work, problem solving, resilience and perseverance as they grapple with the complexities of building a bridge out of straws only to tell you on the evaluation sheet that they “learned how to build a bridge out of straws”.

The DfE is highlighting the need to meet these challenges; OfSTED are testing the impact of Careers Education provision on learning. To address these foci, many schools are turning to the Gatsby Benchmarks, the Careers Framework and national Quality Mark awards to guide and demonstrate effective provision in this area. At Keynotes Educational’s forthcoming conference, we are delighted to bring together key drivers and champions in this area to lead an informative, inspiring and practical national conference in London on May 5th 2017. Click here to find out more about this conference. To compliment these lively presentations, delegates will be able to attend workshops lead by some of the leading lights in the UK who have achieved the Gold Quality Mark. They will share their journey, detailing all the pitfalls and successes they witnessed on the way and offering real take-away advice that delivers.

If you are wondering how to improve your CEIAG and develop employability skills in your curriculum then this is the conference for you.

Deborah Murphy

Development and Innovation Lead


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