How do we improve future employability of teenagers?

With increased completion for job vacancies, educators and parents are consistently considering what can help the employability of teenagers?  So, what do employers really want?

“Employers want to see young people with a strong work ethic, and softer skills like timekeeping and communication which are fundamental in the work environment.” Dr Adam Marshall, Director of the British Chamber of Commerce

Whilst qualifications can play an extremely important role in the future of your working career, companies are increasingly looking at work ethics and employability skills of their workforce.  Qualities will never replace the importance of qualifications but provide an additional edge to students by working alongside the education students can achieve during their time within school.

“It is essential that when young people leave the education system they have at least the basic skills that employers need.” Dr Adam Marshall, Director of the British Chamber of Commerce

While there will always be job-specific skills that an employer is looking for, most employers will also want you to have some general ‘employability skills’.

Having employability skills can not only help you get a job, but they can also help you progress your career.  Companies are increasingly reviewing their interview process to not only include role specific but also about personality and employability questions that can indicate the type of employee you would be.  Some of these key employability skills are discussed below.


Whilst communicating indicates how well you can speak and write, it can also indicate how well you are able to listen and digest information passed on to you.

As part of humanutopia’s programme each student is presented with the opportunity to communicate effectively with other students.  This process can impact not only their peer groups within school but also allows students to communicate effectively outside of school with a wider audience.


Teamwork demonstrates an ability to working well with people.  These can be friends, staff, family or strangers.

Think about the last time you worked with a group, did you stand back? Did you take over?  Whilst there is no right way to act as part of a team, it is important to communicate effectively and be respectful of each member of the team you are working with.


Confidence isn’t about how loud you can shout, or how many people you get to take notice of you as you walk around a classroom.

Do you think you have confidence?

Could you walk up to a perspective employer for the first time and shake their hand?

Admittedly you will still be nervous, but having an inner confidence in yourself to be able to speak to someone as an equal is more impressive than you think.

As part of all the days humanutopia deliver we promote how important Honesty is between themselves and with other people.  This open and honest conversation supports the level of trust an employer can have with you and can also reflect the relationships you have with family and friends outside of work.

Willing to learn

Learning doesn’t have to link directly to subjects in school, it can be the thirst for gaining more knowledge about anything.  Are you eager to continually build upon what you know?

Students who participated through our Who Am I? days will be familiar with the square watermelon story, remember you don’t know what you don’t know?  Make some space to entertain some new ideas…

These are only a few of the skills that young people can continue to develop in and outside of school.  The Heroes Journey that can be continued within school also allows students the opportunity to develop these skills creating a foundation to build key soft skills and develop their own strengths.









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