What is employability?

The joint CBI and Universities UK report (2009) “Future Fit: Preparing Graduates for the World of Work”, employability skills are defined 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”.

  • Academic skills: include specialist knowledge, ability to apply knowledge, logical thinking, critical analysis, problem-solving, written and spoken communication, ability to use numerical data, computer literacy and research skills.
  • Personal Development Skills: include self-confidence, self-discipline, self-reliance, awareness of strengths and weaknesses, creativity, independence, knowledge of international affairs, desire to go on learning, ability to reflect, reliability, integrity, honesty and regard for others.
  • Enterprise or business skills: include entrepreneurial skills, ability to prioritise tasks, time management, interpersonal skills, presentational skills, ability to work in teams and leadership skills, commercial awareness, flexibility, innovation, independence and risk-taking.

So what does employability mean for you?

Employability is about much more than just getting your first job – it’s about having a positive self image and presenting yourself successfully, both as a new graduate and throughout your life.

Your skills, knowledge and personal attributes and the ability to convey them effectively all contribute to your employability as do your personal circumstances and labour market conditions.

You probably already know that you need to get good results, complete some work experience and improve your skills in order to get a good job.

Finding Jobs

You could talk to your

  • parents
  • parent's friends
  • your friends
  • teachers

Online videos

Careers Box Recommended

Watch videos giving information about jobs on sites like Careers box (really good UK website with hundreds of videos about jobs)


It's quite hard to find relevant videos (and easy to get distracted!). Try searching for A day in the life of a.... You will probably find American jobs.

Government websites

Government departments usually have their own websites such as RAFNavyArmyDirectGov

Also, have a look on iCould and InfoCow

Company websites

Think of a company and search for it. Most large companies have a Jobs or Vacancies page

Job websites

Have a look on Job Seekers or look at commercial recruitment websites

Jobs4U Recommended

A careers database brought to you by Connexions Direct. Use the advanced search page or the A-Z search page.

My Future Starts Here

Visit the ever helpful My Future Starts Here website.


Why volunteer?

When you start applying for work you will realise most jobs require experience. You can't get experience without a job and you can't get a job without experience, round and round you go. The answer? Volunteering

How do I find out more?

Here is some information about volunteering

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