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Life Skills and Employability

August 29, 2011

Life Skills and Employability

Mukundhan Gopalrathnam

Objectives

To Understand Life skills, Employability and how Life Skills helps a person to improve their employability

What are Life Skills?

LIFE SKILLS are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life (WHO)

Life Skills help people make informed decisions, Communicate effectively, and develop coping and self-management skills to lead a healthy and productive life

Adaptive and Positive Behaviour

Adaptive means that a person should have the flexibility to adjust according to the situation.

For positive behaviour, a person needs to have positive thinking and look at opportunities even in difficult situations, in order to cope with the situation.

Life Skills are nothing new we all have been using it for a very long times, perhaps without being consciously aware being of it, but now it has been categorized for better understanding and more effective implementation for better results

We are all the time using life skills in different situations. Life skills can be learned or enhanced throughout life.

Many life skills are used in combination in dealing with certain situations. Rehearsing the use of life skills in simple situations makes it easy for utilizing them in complex situations

The Importance of life skills

Life skills are put to use in specific situations. Opportunities have to be provided for developing these skills. The process is as important as the content.

Following are the expected outcomes of life-skills interventions:

Enhanced self-esteem, Self confidence

Assertiveness -Social sensitivity

Listening and communication skills –Ability to establish relationships

Ability to plan and set goals -Learning to learn

Acquisition of knowledge related to specific contents

Areas where life skills could be applied

What is Employability?

Employability refers to a person’s capability of gaining initial employment, maintaining employment, and obtaining new employment if required

On the one hand a person’s employability depends on the knowledge, skills and attitudes of this person. On the other hand labour market rules and institutions have significant impact on the ability of an individual to gain employment. Hence, a person with the same knowledge and skills characteristics might fare very differently in different national or regional labour markets

http://ec.europa.eu/education/

FICCI Report

It is estimated about 5 lakh engineering graduate pass out ofIndiaevery year

According to industry reports 75 % of engineering graduates are unemployable due to lack of appropriate & relevant skills such as communication skills, soft skills, practical application of theoretical knowledge gained etc. Further the knowledge sectors like IT, Biotech, Oil & Gas, Power, Telecom are finding it hard to recruit Masters and PhD degree holders as there are a very few takers for such programmes due to lack of research environment, information and awareness regarding available career opportunities.

http://www.ficci-hes2009.com/p.pdf

 Life Skills and Employability

Life Skills Training can address this issue effectively by improving the following skills of the candidate:

Self – Awareness : improves self concept, the individuals could identify themselves in terms of strengths, weaknesses and their values. Individual identifies what they want to do in life and why do they want to do it?  This awareness directly affect the output of the individual and his overall quality of life.

Empathy – It is one of the component for Emotional Intelligence.  It helps to improve the sensitivity of individuals in terms of others emotions. The awareness about empathy makes an individual a “more acceptable” person which would lead to a overall well being and success>

Effective communication: Ability to put across things in a manner that would be well understood and produce the desired results forms the fundamental of “effective communication”. Life skills enables individuals to become aware about nuances of communication and improve their skills in all forms of communication.

Interpersonal Skills: Ability to work with people, the most sought after skills in current situation. However high could be an individuals IQ but if he lacks Social Intelligence, he is generally not preferred.

Ability to cope with stress: Current work schedule and busy 24×7 lifestyle adversely impacts every individuals life. The individual needs to meet his deadlines almost every day. Life skills provides competency to handle stress effectively to individuals, so that they could convert Distress into Eustress and utilise the same for improving their performances.

Decision making skills: People are often confronted in their life with situations where they need to take decision, but are not sure how to go about. Indecisiveness leads to resignation during challenges. Life skills improves the ability to make decisions and hence individual would be in a position to deal with a situation of his choice.

Problem solving skills helps individuals to think for the best solution for an existing problem. This leads to a situation where individual be competent in solving their problems rather being hampered because of problems. This would facilitate a better quality of life.

Critical thinking skills helps improve their logical thinking pattern.  This helps individuals to explore the various option available and select the best option available. We generally not trained in thinking and life skills training enables individual to a more concrete thinking.

Creative thinking skills: These are generally referred as “out of box thinking”, This skills encourages individuals to think divergently, explore options which were earlier not considered as an option. Life skills training identifies the creativity in every individuals and encourage them to be more creative especially when most of us consider ourselves as  “not creative”

Practising Life skills would thereby improve the employability and would make the employer highly satisfied with the employee.

Employee would be in a positive and happy state of mind. Therefore, he performs more connected with his self since he is aware what he is doing? What he wants to do? Why he wants to do? And how he wants to do? The realisation that he is performing what he wanted to do leads to a positive state of mind.

Conclusion

By imparting Life Skills Training the Employability could be improved to a great extent.

Through Life skills Education the student would have better employable skills

life skills guru, Life skills

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