Employability skills Menu

Employability skills

Employability skills are, quite simply, skills which employers need in the workplace. Aside from the technical or job specific skills required for different jobs, there are a range of skills and qualities which employers have identified and agreed that are needed in order to  be successful in all jobs.

These skills and qualities are acquired through life experiences, education, learning, interests and hobbies and work.

We asked employers about the most important employability skills – watch the videos in Meet Some Employers to hear what they said!

There are many accepted employability skills that employers look for. The Top 10 listed below are those agreed by businesses locally as researched by the Federation of Small Businesses (West Sussex).



Demonstrate a positive attitude This includes your personal presentation; showing interest, enthusiasm and intiative; it is also as simple as turning up to work on time or punctuality, being reliable and having a good record of attendance; it is also important to show commitment to your work, your team and your employer.
Communication skills Can you speak and write well to communicate your thoughts? Do you listen to others and consider their point of view? Can you present information clearly so that others can understand? Listening,   observing and explaining are all important skills to have in life and the workplace.
Problem solving skills Do you find it easy to find solutions to problems? Do you use your imagination to come up with new ways of doing things? Are you creative in your approach? Use your experience and other employability skills to help you solve problems.
Decision making skills Do you have the ability to make good decisions without hesitation? Do you have good judgement? Do you find it easy to make choices? Are you good at weighing up evidence and facts?
Literacy Skills This includes being able to communicate clearly through writing using legible handwriting and good grammar; being able to follow written instructions; being able to use word processing applications and spell and grammar checker.
Numeracy Skills Can you do basic arithmetic without the use of a calculator or computer? This also includes being able to analyse, interpret and understand numerical data and then to be able to present it correctly; these days using spreadsheets is a fundamental requirement of the workplace.
IT skills Are you good at working on computers? Do you feel comfortable using a range of software packages? It is helpful to be able to search for information, recognise relevant information and present it in a   clear format.
Willingness to improve You will need to demonstrate a commitment to maintain and improve your level of performance or skills; be flexible and try to learn a variety of different skills that will prove your willingness to learn and improve yourself.
Working with others Be self aware but also be considerate of others and recognise your responsibility to treat others fairly; develop your team-working skills through working with others.
Financial Literacy This is about understanding the value of resources; how a business operates based on cost and income; undrrstand that the effective use of resources helps the organisation you work for develop and grow; understand about profitability.

Stamp images: Carved Man by Lewis, Highdown by Joe, Worthing landscape Kevin, Arundel by Megan, Barn owl ©Darin SmithSussex Wildlife Trust.