Employability skills days provide an opportunity for students to see first-hand how transferrable skills (or "soft skills") are used in the workplace. The day takes an activity-based approach to raising learners’ awareness about employer expectations and the working environment.

What are employability skills days?

Students take part in different engaging activities with different business representatives within school. The activities will have been created by yourselves and will be industry specific. The purpose of the day will be to showcase career journeys and current opportunities within your sector through a brief discussion with students. They will then take part in your activity. The delivery of these activities is usually run throughout the course of the school day. You will see students on a carousel basis with other business representatives. You may see between 5 and 6 different groups of students for 50-60 minutes per session.

Why should I offer one?

Whilst students may be aware of your industry, they might not fully understand the different career paths they could take or the job opportunities available. Discussions with employers allows them to gain an insight into how you got there and what you do on a daily basis, which helps to raise their aspirations and awareness of potential future careers within the borough. The activities they take part in also help to highlight the different transferable skills needed within the workplace.

Benefits to students

  • Engaging activities prompt them to consider transferable skills
  • Raises aspirations and awareness of potential career pathways
  • First-hand experience of the work place from an employee
  • Encounters with employers giving opportunity to ask questions

Tips

  • Do expect students to engage more if you have an activity
  • Do bring handouts, leaftlets, banners
  • Don’t expect young people to be very outgoing or confident, you may have to encourage students to ask questions
  • Don’t sit down if you can help it, engage at the front of the class

Have an activity:

  • Bring along an interactive activity relevant to your industry
  • Activity can be done with whole group, pairs, individually
  • Don’t make it too difficult or too long (we find up to half an hour works best)
  • Think of an activity that will engage the students and keep them interested

Examples activities:

  • Industry-themed crazy golf
  • Stripping and putting back together an engineering part
  • Creating a zoo
  • Design a product, leaflet, brochure
  • Testing out equipment
  • An enterprise activity

What to include in your discussion:

  • Tell your story
  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • How you got to where you are today
  • Information on the industry you work in
  • Features on different careers paths available within your industry
  • A day in the life
  • What is your end goal