Transferable skills are important at any age…

Individuals often have more transferable skills than they realise, just no idea how to link them together or identify the ones that employers value. An employer will want a particular range of skills in order for employees to have a positive effect on the workplace- you will notice that job adverts call for those “people” skills as well as hard skill qualifications.  However, your abilities need to be recognised by all members of the team so communication is vitally important.   One of the hardest things to do, even if you have identified what your strong skills are, is to make everyone else aware of your capabilities.  Sometimes, you will need help getting these strengths you have as an individual across to others, particularly if they are busy and have made incorrect assumptions. One other concern is knowing how to say what to who – many an employee, manager or leader has forgotten that colleagues may need to be communicated with in a different way – communication in this instance is King!

As a school, college or university leaver, or an individual wanting to change career path, you will need to prove you have developed personally over the years, whatever age and experience or qualifications you may hold. Report writing is very different to essay writing although you will still need to prove an ability to research, analyse and present your case. It is useful as a student to have a part time job to educate yourself on the working environment. If you have already been employed, you will need to prove your experience in certain elements of customer care. Other skills are knowing how to be part of a team, giving presentations,  getting your point of view across professionally and being aware of the emotional and educational intelligence of the person you are speaking with.

Those skills are called “transferable” skills, that allow you to function effectively in the workplace at any level, be it dealing with clients or other members of staff. Negotiating, interviewing, problem solving, working in a team, demonstrating flexibility and leadership. Middle Managers need to know how to manage “up” and “down” the tree, to manage their boss and direct reports (who might easily misunderstand your every word!). Without this middle management experience and learned soft skills, proving their emotional intelligence, even managers won’t necessarily make good leaders. Perfection is not needed in a leader, but identifying key skills and those of others is crucial. The younger these skills are learnt the better but its never too late to start.

Could it be that simple?

In a recent survey, employers have identified that the skills they need the most in an employee and have difficulty finding, are basic core life skills. Just learning these could improve a persons employment prospects. In the future (already happening in fact!), people are less likely to find a job for life and a person’s skill set has to be flexible and adaptable. Elementary jobs are declining, as are public sector jobs (in Portsmouth especially) and higher level vocational skills will be needed to meet specific growth industry vacancies. What about those at the other end, with low educational achievement and low confidence? They may be needed now to work in office or retail and managers or leaders, not necessarily possessing “hard” skills.  However, 90% of jobs will need IT skills, even to apply for a job these days you need to know how to switch on a PC and get on-line.  Higher up, jobs are being doled out to meet a productivity problem, but maybe all that’s needed is a efficiency check, give teams a bit of know how and time saving techniques.  Employers are looking for team work, determination, an ability to problem-solve, passion and creativity. Measured risk taking is a bonus but mainly, employers want to foster an enterpreneurial spirit in all staff, bringing about a revolution of “intra”preneurs, carrying that spirit into the office within an existing organisation.  Those of us that are entrepreneurs must think about how we can use our businesses to give access to training and employment, a more socially responsible way of creating jobs. Do school leavers possess a strong work ethic or enthusiasm to enter the world of work? Are they reliable, ambitious and self-confident? Can they manage their time and are their communication skills satisfactory to build lasting business relationships? Our aim must be surely to widen the talents of the workforce and to rescue those who missed the relevance of these skills, helping them to see that learning these core life skills is a big step towards the next step.  We must make sure that a lack of work-readiness doesn’t wipe out the prosperity of a whole generation, age 19-64. In a world of an increasingly diverse business base, there must be a diverse skill set to match but we clearly need to start with basic core life skills.

Time for a step in the right direction?

We are very excited to have updated our objectives for 2016 onwards….

LinkedUp Training CIC is moving into a phase of growth, wanting to change the way education affects business in the Solent Region.  We all know that Portsmouth has a skills shortage, right the way up from 19+to Level 4 skills that employers want.  Our aim is to provide education for those that slipped through the net at school starting with motivation (!) but also, to hit higher end skills, meaning that when the jobs come up in Portsmouth there will be local residents able to fill them!

This means training, training for private businesses to upskill the staff they have in the meantime and also training/education for those who are trying to change their lives and achieve better outcomes for the whole family.

We are going to focus on mobilising Portsmouth residents!  We are going to focus on IT and business skills.  We are going to offer training and education to people when they want it, in short intensive courses.

We will have work experience opportunities.  Are you with us?  If you have a team you aren’t getting the most of, contact us. Likewise, if you are a 25 year old with no qualifications whatsoever but want to get your life on track, contact us.  We want to help at both ends of the spectrum and in-between. A social training school, hopefully generating a few start-ups along the way.  Ask us!

This Social Enterprise is scaling up to meet business needs and social aspirations at the same time. Watch this space.  We are on a mission….