Promoting Student Employability & Lifelong Learning

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

This lesson explores a few activities that educators and school guidance counselors can use in order to engage students in employability and lifelong learning skills.

What is Student Employability & Lifelong Learning?

Susan is a school counselor who is in charge of engaging students in employability and lifelong learning skills. As she prepares some activities to put this program into place, she realizes she will need to explain to students in very basic terms what each is. She prepares a basic flyer with the following descriptions:

Employability is the potential each individual possesses and shows in the form of skills, which makes an individual desirable for an organization that needs those skills.

Lifelong learning skills is the set of abilities an individual has in order to self-educate and develop for an entire life with the purpose of acquiring continued knowledge either for personal or professional motivations.

Susan knows these definitions will help students understand the importance of each aspect. Now, Susan develops some activities. Let's see what she does.

Personalize With Students' Interests

Susan is aware of the fact that each student has different visions for future work and interests. For this reason, an activity she prepares is to get each student to think about the type of job and organization in which they see themselves in the future. With this information, students will then have to think about a set of skills that they will need to be ''desirable'' by that organization. Also, they have to think about topics they would have to continue learning to continue being desirable and, possibly, growing in their career.

This activity gives students an objective view of the importance of employability and lifelong learning skills.

Get Students to Create a Resume

Susan has learned that resumes often scare students as they do not know where to start or what format to use. For this reason, Susan gets students to create their own resume and helps them improve by giving them some basic resume tips. Furthermore, students learn how to tailor their resumes by looking up real job descriptions as Susan assists them in this process.

This activity gives students a head start on the ability to create engaging resumes for potential employers. The same activity can apply to cover letters.

Connect Students With Potential Employers

Susan knows that employability and lifelong learning skills are displayed nowadays through technology tools. For this reason, she provides students with a list of the most fashionable professional networks so students can start to build up their personal profiles in it. Within this activity, students will have to come up with a list of skills that would raise their level of employability as well as the lifelong learning skills they can commit to.

This activity gives students the opportunity to let real employees get to know them.

Teach Students Some Basic Skills

While it is important to get students to think about their own potential to develop employability and lifelong learning skills, Susan also knows that all students will need some basic skills to succeed in their future jobs. Such skills include:

  1. Communication abilities: Susan gets students to simulate answering professional emails or making business presentations.
  2. Self-initiative and teamwork abilities: Susan gets students to do team activities. She also has her students prepare personal projects to present to peers.
  3. Use of technology: Susan surveys students to learn the level of technology literacy students possess. Then, she will use this information to work with other school members.
  4. Organizational skills: Susan paints a scenario in which students will have to decide what steps they would take in order to organize an event, project, etc.

This activity gives students hands-on practice for the key skills workers need.

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