Employability skills can be defined as the transferable skills needed by an individual to make them ’employable’. Along with good technical understanding and subject knowledge, employers often outline a set of skills that they require from an employee. – Kary Claybourn
Work placements and experience enable young adults to apply their skills in a real-world environment and see the impact they can have on an organisation or industry. It is widely documented that early work experiences are core determinants of career outcomes. Work experience equips your child with essential skills such as teamworking, communication skills and commercial awareness, all of which are highly sought after by employers.
The number of new experiences that come from living and studying in a different country and culture are extraordinary and can make a CV stand out from the crowd. Someone who has spent time abroad will have acquired a unique set of experiences and skills unlike any other candidate.The overseas scholarship programme set up by the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs is making overseas study an option for many Caymanian students.
Recruiters often stress how important it is for candidates to be involved in sports or community groups. Not only does it expose a person to a wider skill set, networking opportunities and skill application, but it contributes towards building confidence and resilience. Team sports, in particular, will encourage teamwork, commitment, self-discipline, strategic development and organisational skills.
Ms Carmola expressed concern that the current generation of unemployed young adults often have little experience, high expectations, and expect instant gratification.
She continued the thought by saying, “I encourage returning candidates to take the opportunity to get into anything, not just what they think they want to do” she says, “and all returning scholarship candidates are encouraged to register with the NWDA and sign up for further courses to enhance their skill set while they search for a job.”
THE TOP 10
Good communication & interpersonal skills
Using initiative & being self-motivated
Working under pressure & to deadlines
Ability to learn and adapt
Parents, friends, lecturers and employers will all have different perspectives on career choices for a child. Deirdre Carmola, manager of the Ministry of Education’s Scholarship Secretariat, explains that when it comes to choosing subjects in tertiary education, they strongly advise students to think beyond what their parents feel they should do. They also need to broaden their options. More recently students have been encouraged to choose a combination of subjects to provide them with a broader knowledge base, in the hope that this will create more opportunities at a later stage.
Support and assistance from a professional careers adviser can be greatly beneficial. They can help a student think through the different options. The National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA) provides general career counselling and guidance services in addition to offering various courses for unemployed adults. Dianne Connolly, NWDA Training and Development Manager, explains that they have launched an apprenticeship programme, an internship programme and they are looking to launch a formal mentorship programme later this year.
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