Employability and skills

What is employability?

Graduate employers across all industries want more than just a degree; they want graduates who can demonstrate a wide range of other skills, attributes and knowledge, often called ‘employability skills’. Examples include communication skills, planning, team work, enterprise skills, problem solving, reflection, numeracy skills, IT skills, leadership skills and commercial awareness.

Why are employability skills so important?

In a competitive and fast-moving global economy, graduates need to stand out to get the jobs they want. Graduate selection procedures are tough and there are large numbers of applicants for each vacancy. Applicants are required to provide evidence of their employability skills on application forms and then demonstrate their skills at assessment events. If you only start thinking about this in your final year, this puts you at a disadvantage compared to other students!

How can you develop and prove your skills?

Your courses are already helping you to develop a wide range of employability skills, from report writing to presentation skills. In addition, the University and Kent Union provide many extracurricular schemes to help you to develop your skills further. You can volunteer, take part in clubs and societies, work part-time, become a student ambassador or mentor, learn a language and complete a Careers Employability Award on Moodle.

You can also gain Employability Points for your efforts and record and reflect on your employability skills in MyFolio and the Employability Toolkit. You can find information on Kent’s employability initiatives on the employability webpages.

A set of attributes, skills and knowledge that all labour market participants should possess to ensure they have the capability of being effective in the workplace – to the benefit of themselves, their employer and the wider economy.

~ (CBI, March 2009)

Careers & Employability Service

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 1227 823299

Last Updated: 24/09/2013