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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre & STEM Ambassadors's online course, Inspiring Young People in STEM: Planning and Organising Practical Activities. Join the course to learn more.

Linking with employability skills

Academic curricula are not the only frameworks you can relate your volunteering activities to. Whether you are volunteering in a school or with another organisation, you have an opportunity to show how employability skills are important in your STEM career.

Employability skills are often based on knowledge, technical skills and attitude. These skills are what employers believe will equip the employee to carry out their role to the best of their ability. This STEM Learning poster was compiled in conjunction with a range of UK-based companies to identify the top 10 skills sought by potential employees.

Top 10 employability skills

How you work

  • Using initiative and being self-motivated
  • Organisational skills
  • Working under pressure and to deadlines
  • Ability to learn and adapt

How you work with others

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork
  • Negotiation skills
  • Valuing diversity and difference

How you think

  • Problem solving skills
  • Numeracy and IT skills

Linking to your own workplace

By reflecting on these within your own workplace environment, consider how you might help young people prepare for work through developing some of these skills.

To help you think about the links between employability skills and STEM careers, consider the following scenario.

Scenario: Floodplain management

You are part of a research team working in floodplain management. Floodplain management is a decision-making process to reduce current and future losses, costs and suffering through flooding.

You have been appointed lead researcher on a work package, with a team of two supporting you. You must present your findings at a conference in six months’ time.


Referring to the Top 10 Employability Skills, identify one skill from each of the three sections (how you work, how you work with others, how you think) and detail how you would utilise each of those skills within the floodplain management workplace scenario.

Post your three skills and how they are relevant to this scenario to the discussion below.

If you would like to use employability skills as the framework for your practical activity, you can use this Employability Skills Grid. Take a look at this example for an idea of how it works.

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This article is from the free online course:

Inspiring Young People in STEM: Planning and Organising Practical Activities

National STEM Learning Centre