Employment is the state of having paid work. A person’s ability to gain and sustain fulfilling work is known as employability, which is the focus of this overview. There are four commonly identified elements of employability: an individual’s ability to get a job; to retain it; to make choices in their employment situation; and the quality of work.
The ability to achieve these outcomes is influenced by a number of external and internal factors. Macro-economic and political factors are a major determinant of an individual’s ability to find and retain quality employment as they influence the demand for labour from employers, and consequently the availability of work. External factors also impact incentives for employment, eg, government policy on welfare benefits can influence an individual’s willingness to seek work.
On an individual level, there are a number of, often interlinked, skills and capabilities that impact upon employability. Employability skills, the ‘skills almost everyone needs to do almost any job’, includes general skills and characteristics such as functional skills, interpersonal skills, self-esteem and motivation. Factors specifically relating to employment include attitudes to work, skills for finding work, and occupation-specific skills and work experience. Personal circumstances such as disability, caring responsibilities and access to transport also impacts upon an individual’s ability and willingness to work.
Employability skills are the skills almost everyone needs to do almost any job
Charities are involved in promoting employability in two main ways: helping people to improve their basic skills and address personal issues that may be barriers to work, and directly helping people to enter and sustain employment.
ABOUT THE OUTCOMES MAPS
This is one of 13 outcomes maps produced by NPC in partnership with the SROI Network, Investing for Good and Big Society Capital. Each map examines a particular issue area or domain, and aims to document the relevant outcomes and indicators that are currently being measured by charities, government, academics and practitioners working in this field.