The education landscape has seen a shift towards gaining qualifications in the ‘core subjects’, with the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) now providing a new performance measure for schools.
Although we can’t doubt the importance of English and Maths lessons, the teaching of life skills for our children does come into question. Employers are increasingly worried about the ‘skills gap’ across their industries, most notably computer literacy, and educators in secondary teaching jobs should play a key role in this learning process.
Closing the skills gap
An understanding of IT and Computing will not only be more appealing to potential employers, but students themselves will be far more confident with these skills and may even develop a strong interest in this area.
It would be rare to find a student who isn’t active on social media now, so an understanding of how to conduct yourself online is imperative, especially when we take into account that a Facebook status is remarkably different to an office memo.
Following that, you would be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t use email as a form of communication, and the beauty of this medium enables us to contact someone from anywhere in the world. Teaching cultural awareness as well as proper email etiquette are two life skills that are advantageous on their own, but wonderfully appealing as a potential employee.
Behavioural habits can take you a long way in career
Academic achievement is of course important, but the behavioural habits that our future workforce develop at school are hugely significant to their employability too. Respect and punctuality, a good work ethic and attention to detail are pillars of a good employee. It is therefore increasingly significant for educators to ensure that development across these areas progresses, alongside a thorough understanding of the curriculum.
If we are looking at the behavioural habits of our pupils, then we must of course look at the social customs too. Group projects at school have a wholly positive impact on future teamwork skills, and in an age of collaborative working, an ability to work well with others is more vital than ever.
Focus on communication skills
Being able to communicate with a range of people is not only beneficial to the future workforce, but will actually be a benefit in all aspects of one’s life. School offers a great opportunity for pupils to develop in this area, from the small action of talking to classmates, to the choice to lead a presentation or join the debating club. Again, these skills look fantastic to employers but also massively increase the confidence and self-esteem of our pupils.
We know we can’t leave this whole task up to teachers. Teaching life skills must be a joint effort from parents, as well as other members of the learning community. This support network ensures that every element of a pupil’s education opens the most doors possible for their future decisions.
There are hundreds of opportunities to join this network and contribute your knowledge, with companies such as EduStaff always looking to grow their involvement in helping the workforce of tomorrow; so head over there if you think you can make a difference!