Big news on a personal level is that Karen successfully completed the MA by Research in Education at York University. The MA was a great opportunity to explore employability, a theme that has featured in Innovate Educate’s work for many years. Karen explored what the term ‘employability skills’ means to government departments, employer organisations, employers, teachers and young people. The findings were surprising and identified a real need for employers to support young people into the work place. There is a particular need to support those from more disadvantaged backgrounds who tend not to have the informal networks in place that can be so useful.
The main surprise was that employability skills were being used both to support young people into the world of work and to exclude them from it. As more young people are encouraged into higher education, degrees are becoming more commonplace and so employers are looking for more ingenious ways to differentiate potential employees. This is completely understandable but in a market place that is already difficult for young people, employers have a role to play in helping young people from all backgrounds understand the recruitment and employment process.