In this article, we bring students, parents and carers information on careers and the world of work.
Monthly Key Skills Focus
Each month this year, we will focus on a different employability skill. These are the skills that you need for the world of work – and they are pretty important for life as well! By developing employability skills, you will improve your chances of getting a job and thriving in your career. There are lots of different ways to develop them – including in lessons or extracurricular activities at school, in a Saturday or holiday job, doing projects in your own time or work experience.
This Month we Explore the Difference Between Skills and Qualities
Employers look for applicants with the know-how to perform certain tasks essential to their role. These often come in the form of skills and qualities - two subtly different sets of attributes which are both useful in the workplace. So, what is the difference between skills and qualities?
Employability skills or “key skills” are the basic skills you need to do a particular job. A skill is the ability to do a particular task well and with expertise. It is something that can be learnt. For example, communication is a skill we learn as we grow up and develop throughout our education. You will develop communication skills in all subjects, as every subject requires you to communicate information in one way or another. People who specialise in roles such as marketing, copywriting, public relations or journalism develop high-level communication skills which enable them to do their job. This means they are able to communicate well, quickly and efficiently
While skills can be learnt through practice, qualities are considered to be characteristics and personality traits which are to some extent in-built or “inherent”. For example, if you say someone is a “natural leader” you may be referring to a quality they have rather than a skill they have learnt. Qualities can be developed and nurtured but they rely on a pre-existing ability to do something rather than being something you can learn from scratch. They might also refer to something you feel comfortable and confident doing. For example, you may be a “natural talker” and very happy and confident presenting to large teams and senior colleagues. However, many people learn the skill of presenting or communication without ever being particularly keen on delivering presentations to large groups of people! They are good at it because they have learnt it through practice. This is a skill rather than a quality.
In practice, skills and qualities can be nurtured in the same way: through practice.
The difference between skills and qualities is often not clear-cut. Combining skills and qualities is often the best way to turn them into valuable attributes in the workplace. The natural talker we looked at in the previous example may have the makings of a great presenter – but without practice, training and nurturing, there may be many elements of good presenting that they lack. For example, they need to learn how to maintain focus and relevance when presenting in a professional setting.
Examples of skills:
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
Examples of qualities:
It’s important to remember that although these examples are things that are often in-built qualities, they can also be learnt, developed and nurtured as skills, even if you struggle with these attributes.
Year 12 University of Surrey Visits – Maths and Careers and UCAS Fair
Film & Production Technology - Year 12 Taster Day
On Tuesday 15th February Mrs Hughes and Mrs Baigent-Scales escorted 27 Year 12 students who study maths to the University of Surrey to learn about the technology and skills required to broadcast live events on TV and Youtube.
We were greeted by student ambassadors from the University who stayed with us all day. The day started with a lecture on how TV pictures are made and transmitted focusing on the technical side of the media and understanding how science and maths is very important to broadcasting.
The students were treated to lunch in the campus canteen and after lunch the students were split into 4 smaller groups. They all took turns to experience the different roles needed behind the screens to stream live events.
The students had exclusive access to a £10 million Outside Broadcast Truck from broadcast specialist CTV. The students had the opportunity to use the cameras and film a rugby match played by university students and inside the vehicle the students were able to use the sound equipment and try out vision engineering and vision mixing.
It was a very informative and enjoyable day. All the students immersed themselves in all the aspects for delivering an outside broadcast.
Feedback from students who attended the maths trip was overwhelmingly positive. Here were some of the things that they most appreciated following the trip:
“Working and seeing first hand the ins and outs of live broadcasting, a career I’d never thought of as being related to maths.”
“Seeing a university campus and gaining an insight into a course I never knew of previously.”
“Receiving the undergraduate prospectuses full of information.”
“Meeting the universities and asking them what it’s like and what is needed.”
Graduate Social Mobility
The Department for Education has published analysis of the impact of different undergraduate degrees on the social mobility of graduates. Students, parents and carers may be interested in the best university degrees for intergenerational mobility and can access the report and data here.
Top Apprenticeship Employers
Rate my apprenticeship has produced a list of the top apprenticeship employers 2021 – (based on surveys from 4,500 young people). Explore the list here: https://www.ratemyapprenticeship.co.uk/top-employers