The 14-19 Skills for Employability Conference

On Tuesday, I attended a very interesting conference at America Square in London.  The conference focused on the skills young people need to develop to become successful in the workplace.  The timing of the conference was very relevant, as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has recently released a number of reports on this topic.

There were a range of speakers at the event, including Steve Higginbotham, President of the Institute for Careers Guidance (ICG), John Stone, Chief Executive of LSN , Tim Hutchings, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Andy Palmer, Head of Skills Development for BT Group, and Derek Browe, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurs in Action.

While many topics were discussed, one of the clear underlying messages to come out of this conference was that young people are not sufficiently equipped with the ‘softer’ employability skills needed to succeed in industry.  Tim Hutchings stated that young people are not sufficiently equipped with CV writing skills, and the skills to prepare for interviews; Andy Palmer spoke about the importance of developing time management and project management skills, as well as academic achievement.

Other topics of discussion included how to encourage young people to be more entrepreneurial, methods of giving lessons a more work-related context, and a mentoring project run in Derbyshire.

I am interested to hear your views regarding young people’s employability skills.  Do you feel that enough is being done to equip young people with skills for entering the workforce?  If not, how can the delivery of employability skills be improved?

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