Being educated and skilled does not necessarily make for a good employee.

Australian education institutions send hundreds of thousands of trained and educated graduates into the workforce each year. However, without a solid grasp of critical life and employability skills, their futures are not secure.

A great deal of emphasis has been placed on assessing employability skills, with less emphasis placed on the actual teaching of these skills. Since the introduction and change over from the Maher Key Competency model to the embedding of Employability Skills into every training package, there has been a blurring of the resources devoted to the actual teaching of employability skills. ‘Life skills’ and ‘communication specific’ courses were once autonomous. There were specialist teachers and lecturers assigned to deliver an approved curriculum. However, now that these skills are embedded into every course, all lecturers are required to have the ability to deliver the material.

These are the main issues with the current delivery and assessment model as they have been explained to us:

  1. Teaching of skills which are so closely associated with personal attributes, cultural conventions and standards of behavior is psychologically complex.
  2. These skills and habits are mostly learned by following the modeled behavior of family, friends and teachers.  If this is inadequate then the modeling is detrimental.
  3. Nuance is critical.
  4. When inadequate modeling is combined with inexperienced delivery and self assessment, the result is unsatisfactory and can affect a student’s lifelong career opportunities.

The argument for a rethink on the way these vital skills are taught is compelling.

Employability skills should not rely on the skills and abilities of individual lecturers. To ensure accuracy and an equivalence of learning right across the sector, these skills should be taught in an interactive environment that makes good use of the most effective education tool at our disposal – storytelling.

This storytelling method has the ability to model and set standards of behavior that employers believe are desirable. It allows us to move away from theory and give real life examples of behavior that employers and associates find problematic in the workplace. Interactive assessment gives students an insight into their own (often sensitive) behavior, in a private and psychologically safe environment.

ourBizniss recently trialled a narrative based interactive employability skill module with TAFE SA Regency.

100% of students involved in this trial discovered problems with the way they currently present themselves, with 90% of them claiming it will change their future behaviour.

Employability and other critical life skills are not simply an outcome, but a life-long journey. That journey should start with the Education sector.

Anyway - that’s what we think.


For further information and to access a trial login to the
ourBizniss drama based e-learning model for employability skills, email.