There are many definitions of ’employability’ but in a nutshell it is about a person gaining and then maintaining fulfilling employment, and then obtaining new employment if required (Hillage and Pollard, 1998).
In the current climate, a degree is not always enough. In order for graduates to remain competitive in today’s labour market, they need to have additional employability skills to complement their academic achievements.
‘Future Fit’ a document produced by the Universities UK and the CBI defined Employability Skills as: “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.”
With the increase in numbers of individuals competing for graduate-level jobs, graduates are going to need a good range of employability skills in order to stand out from the crowd, gain that first position and then progress in their chosen career. It is also important to recognise the skills and experience you have to offer to an employer, and to present it in such a way which an organisation will find attractive and value.
The University of Bolton believes that developing a students ‘sustainable employability’ is paramount. Our statement of employability makes explicit that:
‘The University of Bolton will help you to acquire the skills, knowledge and abilities to gain suitable employment. We want to help you to take control of your personal and professional development to meet your careers aspirations and realise your full potential’.
To remain employable, graduates need the self promotional skills to gain employment, the information and skills to operate effectively and finally the ability to learn, mature, adapt and go on securing employment in a constantly changing environment. To find out how other graduates have developed their employability skills visit http://www.graduate-success.org.uk/