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What employers are looking for

Employment trends

Choosing a course that matches the young person's skills and interests is essential – but it also pays to think about how this will lead to future employment.
 
At Activate Learning, we work with young people to develop a career pathway that provides a clear line of sight to employment. It helps to understand what is happening in the jobs market, and what the opportunities are. Read this report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills to find out more about the effect of skills shortages in the economy. 
 

Helping young people develop their skills

Employers often complain about a skills gap that exists between education and employment. 
 
This is usually less about technical skills and more about the softer skills that employers want from their employees - things like teamwork, innovation, resilience and problem solving.
 
These skills can often be developed through project-based learning, work experience placements or commercial experience. If you are looking at a new school or college, ask them about how they develop softer skills.
 
Experience still counts for a lot when it comes to recruiting. More employers value work experience than either academic or vocational qualifications. Two thirds of employers said work experience is a significant or crucial factor in their employment.
 
Most college courses will include work experience placements as part of the learning programme, but again it’s best to ask about this when you visit.