Why many students feel unmotivated in their own studies at school? That is a tricky point and sometimes teachers simply can’t understand what is going wrong with them. One of the main reason of that is the scarce appeal of learning material: they feel that what they are learning is not connected with different jobs’ requirements. Moreover, sometimes they feel that they are trained for jobs that will disappear in 10 years. And by all means they know that after finishing the school they must face one of the biggest challenge in the life: find a job.
According Future Skills 2020 Report (by Institute For The Future), future work skills required by the labour market have some important implication for the Educational System. Educational organisations at all levels should consider how to adapt quickly in response. Industry 4.0 Study says us that the labour market is going to change quickly and deeply. Are we ready to face it? How can we become/keep employable and run in the new challenges of the world of work? How do we feel in facing one or more transitions during our career?
Considering all this, how we as teachers can help students? There is only an answer: increasing their employability. So, let’s talk about employability. What is employability? A lot of people got confused about employment and employability but they are two different words with two different meanings. Employment is about getting a job. And getting a job is just one part of employability (we can consider it as one of the last outcomes). Employability is “a set of achievements – skills, understandings and personal attributes – that make graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy” (Manzt Yorke, UK Higher Education Academy).
Let’s make things more easier through an example. Employment is getting a job in a supermarket (when the student becomes employed: cashier, clerk, saleperson or whatever). Employability is about ability of the student in doing the job. It means being able to perform well in his role in the supermarket. It entails to use in an effective way both technical and soft skills: mathematical competences, communication skills, problems loving, sales skills and so on. The challenge is to use together all these skills in practice working in the supermarket. And being aware about these skills is not enough; student will be really employable only when he is able to use in practice these skills in every situation he is going to face in the supermarket.
Key-insight: employability is to be able to DO the job.