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Small changes: making explicit links to skills used

Specific examples of jobs and industries are helpful, but sometimes they can be too abstract for the students we’re teaching. Focusing careers conversations around a set of skills that are essential for any job, makes career learning relevant and crucially, accessible to all.

The Skills Builder Framework is a progression framework for a set of 8 highly transferable skills: Listening, Speaking, Problem Solving, Creativity, Staying Positive, Aiming High, Leadership and Teamwork. Here are some ways that you can embed these essential skills into your teaching practice.

Highlight when students are using the skills in your lessons

You can download skill icons from the Skills Builder Hub and drop them into lesson plans, worksheets, PowerPoints etc to act as a cognatic link for the students. Over time and with consistent use, the transferability of these skills becomes apparent as students see the same skills highlighted across multiple lessons.

Raise awareness of each skill using the Framework posters

Break down skills into tangible behaviours using the Skills Builder Framework (posters available). Chunking each skill into manageable steps gives you and your students a criteria to reflect on and track development over time.

For example:

“Today we are sharing our designs for the prototypes, you might never have a job where you design a prototype but you will likely have to present your ideas to a room of your peers so let’s practise that aspect of the Speaking skill.”

Use Skills Builder resources to explicitly teach students about these skills

On the Skills Builder Hub you can find a suite of resources to help you explicitly teach students each skill. These include guidance and videos than hone in on a particular step within the Framework.

For example, if as part of your planning you know that students need to create a project plan, you could use resources for Step 8 of Aiming High “I set goals and secure the right resources to achieve them.”


Compare the three approaches above. Which approach do you think will have the most influence on your students and their career learning?

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This article is from the free online course:

Linking Curriculum Learning to STEM Careers

National STEM Learning Centre