Unit 3 Employability and Professional Development

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Introduction


Aim

To provide learners with the opportunity to acquire employability skills required for effective employment and to manage their own personal and professional development.

Unit abstract

All learners at all levels of education and experience require employability skills as a prerequisite to entering the job market. This unit gives learners an opportunity to assess and develop an understanding of their own responsibilities and performance in or when entering the workplace. The unit considers the skills required for general employment such as interpersonal and transferable skills, and the dynamics of working with others in teams or groups including leadership and communication skills. It also deals with the everyday working requirement of problem solving which includes the identification or specification of the ‘problem’, strategies for its solution and then evaluation of the results of the solution through reflective practices.

Learning outcomes


1 Be able to take responsibility for own personal and professional development

Responsibilities: own responsibilities eg personal responsibility, direct and indirect relationships and adaptability, decision-making processes and skills, ability to learn and develop within the work role; other eg employment legislation, ethics, employment rights and responsibilities
Performance objectives:  setting and monitoring performance objectives
Individual appraisal systems: uses of performance appraisals eg salary levels and bonus payments, promotion, strengths and weaknesses, training needs; communication; appraisal criteria eg production data, personnel data, judgemental data; rating methods eg ranking, paired comparison, checklist, management by objectives; skills audit (personal profile using appropriate self-assessment tools); evaluating self-management; personal and interpersonal skills; leadership skills
Motivation and performance: application and appraisal of motivational theories and techniques, rewards and incentives; manager’s role; self-motivational factors.
Development plan: current performance; future needs; opportunities and threats to career progression; aims and objectives; achievement dates; review dates; learning programme/activities; action plans; personal development plan
Portfolio building: developing and maintaining a personal portfolio
Transcripts: maintaining and presenting transcripts including curriculum vitae

2 Be able to demonstrate acquired interpersonal and transferable skills

Effective communication: verbal and non-verbal eg awareness and use of body language, openness and responsiveness, formal and informal feedback to and from colleagues; IT as an effective communication medium; team meetings
Interpersonal skills: soft skills eg personal effectiveness, working with others, use of initiative, negotiating skills, assertiveness skills, social skills
Time management: prioritising workloads; setting work objectives; using time effectively; making and keeping appointments; reliable estimates of task time

3 Understand the dynamics of working with others

Working with others: nature and dynamics of team and group work; informal and formal settings; purpose of teams and groups eg long-term corporate objectives/strategy; problem solving and short-term development projects; flexibility/adaptability; team player
Teams and team building: selecting team members eg specialist roles, skill and style/approach mixes; identification of team/work group roles; stages in team development eg team building, identity, loyalty, commitment to shared beliefs, team health evaluation; action planning; monitoring and feedback; coaching skills; ethics; effective leadership skills, eg, setting direction, setting standards, motivating, innovative, responsive, effective communicator, reliability, consistency

4 Be able to develop strategies for problem solving

Specification of the problem: definition of the problem; analysis and clarification Identification of possible outcomes: identification and assessment of various alternative outcomes
Tools and methods: problem-solving methods and tools
Plan and implement: sources of information; solution methodologies; selection and implementation of the best corrective action eg timescale, stages, resources, critical path analysis
Evaluation: evaluation of whether the problem was solved or not; measurement of solution against specification and desired outcomes; sustainability

Resources


Books

NCCER – Basic Employability Skills: Trainee Guide 00108-09 (Prentice Hall, 2009) ISBN 013609919X

Websites

www.prospects.ac.uk
www.stemnet.org.uk/resources/employability_skills_guide.cfm

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