Embedding Employability into Student Success

In the last blog we saw how the University of Winchester is mapping skills to identify and devise optimal wider learning opportunities for their students. This week, to help us understand how we can ensure the long-term performance of these activities, Alan Stuart explains how we should ‘embed employability’ so that we can develop skills in our students that will be demanded by employers in the future.

As Alan highlights, to create a sustainable strategy for student success, we need to have a focus not just on current skills gaps, but also ask ourselves “what are the skills for the future that employers [will be] looking for?”. 

Data from the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs Survey”[1] predicts 15 skills that will be needed in the workplace in 2025: 

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation
  2. Active learning and learning strategies
  3. Complex problem-solving
  4. Critical thinking and analysis
  5. Creativity, originality and initiative
  6. Leadership and social influence
  7. Technology use, monitoring and control
  8. Technology design and programming
  9. Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
  10. Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
  11. Emotional intelligence
  12. Troubleshooting and user experience
  13. Service orientation
  14. Systems analysis and evaluation
  15. Persuasion and negotiation.

This is in clear support of Alan’s belief that it is the ‘soft skills’ that will be the most sought after graduate capabilities in the future. Through skills mapping exercises, we can subsequently identify not only the skills gaps we have now, but those that we will likely have in 3-5 years time. The importance of this is apparent through the WEF’s prediction that “50% of all employees will need reskilling” by 2025; a scary statistic if we don’t start preparing our students for it now. For more information, see the full “The Future of Jobs Report”.

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