The term ‘employable education’ often appears to be a bit of a conundrum. It is well known that a person’s ‘employability assets’ comprise of three things. One, knowledge – what they know; two, skills – what they do with what they know, and three; attitudes – how they do it. And from here on begins a long list of detailed areas for study that can interplay or interchange to take you down the road to your focused area of working.
Since time immemorial children have been groomed for either becoming doctors or engineers. There was never any other worthy field for a well deserved work-life, other than maybe qualifying for a government job. Even now these three work-areas remain baseline aspirations for which we keep motivating our children. In this quest we often forget their basic skills and essential personal attributes.
But then also, not all of us can be measured on the same scale for occupation specific skills, specific or generic. Among other things we are also becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the transferability of these skills from one occupation or business context to another for employability. Of late increased attention is being given to the development of vocational skills in identifying our niche areas of interest.
We need to create more awareness with regard to employer-relevant knowledge and skills and also attitudes that will allow individuals to move ahead in a self-sufficient manner. In a sense we need to help them realize their potential so that their capabilities may be exploited as assets in an ever growing market. There is obviously an important inter-relationship between assets and deployment.
Career management skills likewise can develop self-awareness of occupational interests and abilities. They can also let one be open to opportunity by knowing what work opportunities exist and what is required to make them work for you. Decidedly, decision-making skills remain critical especially when one needs to develop a strategy of getting from where you are to being where you want to be.
In the final count, it is the extent to which an individual is aware of what they possess in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes and its relevance to the employment opportunities available that will affect their willingness to undertake training and other activities designed to upgrade their skills. It is in this context that HERD Foundation explores opportunities to facilitate Employable Education for All.