Employability skills

Employability is:

“A set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that make an individual more likely to secure and be successful in their chosen occupations to the benefit of themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy.” Cardiff University’s Employability and Enterprise Skills Strategy

Employability is not just about getting a job. Conversely, just because a student is on a vocational course does not mean that somehow employability is automatic. Employability is more than about developing attributes, techniques or experience just to enable a student to get a job, or to progress within a current career. It is about learning and the emphasis is less on ‘employ’ and more on ‘ability’. In essence, the emphasis is on developing critical, reflective abilities, with a view to empowering and enhancing the learner. Harvey (2003)

In a competitive graduate market, you will need a package of skills, knowledge, experience and attributes to help you stand out from the crowd and make you an appealing prospect for employers when you first graduate.

Employability is also about ensuring that you have the assets to be successful in what you do and make the kind of career moves you want to make, even if you are still figuring out what those might be!

If you develop your employability you will be appealing to employers whatever sector you decide to work in because you will have a CV full of achievements and experience and plenty of evidence of how able, skilled and enthusiastic you are.

The ability to analyse and reflect on your skills will help you to keep them fit for study and work, now and throughout your life.


This topic will help you to:

  • understand what employability skills are
  • identify some of the generic skills that graduate employers commonly seek
  • recognise the importance of skills to employers
  • understand what ‘employability’ means
  • create a profile of the skills you have developed through your degree and your other activities
  • devise strategies for developing skills

 Commercial Awareness