Employability skills are non-technical skills which play a significant part in contributing to an individual's effective and successful participation in the workplace.
What are employability skills?
Employability skills are also sometimes referred to as generic skills, capabilities, enabling skills or key competencies. In Australia employability skills are:
- communication skills, which contribute to productive and harmonious relations between employees and customers
- teamwork skills, which contribute to productive working relationships and outcomes
- problem-solving skills, which contribute to productive outcomes
- initiative and enterprise skills, which contribute to innovative outcomes
- planning and organising skills, which contribute to long-term and short-term strategic planning
- self-management skills, which contribute to employee satisfaction and growth
- learning skills, which contribute to ongoing improvement and expansion in employee and company operations and outcomes
- technology skills, which contribute to effective execution of tasks.
The history of employability skills
Australia's employability skills were developed through a national project managed by the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The project featured consultation with other peak employer bodies and businesses and resulted in the Employability Skills for the Future report produced in 2002. The report indicated that industry required a broader range of skills than that previously provided in the 'key competencies' framework that was developed in the early 1990s. The report featured an Employability Skills Framework which identified the skills noted above.
The Employability Skills Framework
The Employability Skills Framework, which details the employability skills, also identifies elements, or facets, of those skills that employers identified as important. Facets are examples of skills which contribute to the overall application of each employability skill. The nature, emphasis and context of these facets vary across industries and qualifications.
Employability skills and training packages
Following consultation and research on approaches to incorporating employability skills into training packages, the National Training Quality Council (now the NQC) agreed that the preferred approach was to explicitly embed the applicable employability skills into each individual unit of competency. In 2005-2006 specifically developed tools were used by ISCs to review and embed employability skills into training package qualifications.
In many cases ISCs found that the skills and knowledge identified by the employability Skills Framework already existed in training packages. ISCs reviewed each training package unit of competency and, where gaps existed or changes were required, modifications were made to units of competency.
All new and revised training packages must include employability skills. The Training Package Development Handbook provides policy and guidance on how this is to be achieved.
How are employability skills to be assessed and reported?
The NQC endorsed an integrated approach to assessment and descriptive reporting which was implemented in 2008.
The integrated approach to assessment involves assessing employability skills in an integrated manner with technical skills, within a qualification and the corresponding units of competency. This integrated approach is made possible because employability skills are embedded in the unit of competency.
Reporting on employability skills involves learners downloading qualification specific employability skills summaries for training package qualifications from an online repository; and RTOs adding a mandatory, single standard sentence to all qualification testamurs for training package qualifications which advises that 'A summary of the employability skills developed through this qualification can be downloaded from http://employabilityskills.training.com.au.'
This page was generated on 14 April, 2011