A lot of job seekers already gave up seeking employment, while some are still trying, others are trapped in their present job without any real prospect of progression. Research has shown that many prospective and current employees do not possess the skills to fill many roles in the 21st-century job market. While lack of adequate and relevant skills may not wholly be responsible, it has contributed significantly to the rate of unemployment.
Continuous development in science and technology has affected the ways in which almost every job is done, any employee who does not continue to develop their skill will most likely become redundant. According to John Naisbitt, “in a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn”.
Take this illustration as an example; when trying to cut down a tree with an axe, if the axe is sharp, the tree gets cut down easily and quickly. However, if the axe is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he or she must use more strength to cut it down; but wisdom brings success. Employers are unwilling to employ employees who can’t carry out their job effectively.
Bill Gate also emphasised that the development of software will substitute the need for significant manpower in the workplace in the foreseeable future. This is very true today and will get even more challenging as artificial intelligence, bots and robot technology expands.
“Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses – it’s progressing. Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set”.
– Bill Gate
It is never too late to learn new skills and (or) update your knowledge, whether you are seeking employment or career progression/change. Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of employability, and “learning to learn is life’s most important skill” according to the famous inventor of mind map Tony Buzan.
There is no doubt that there are challenges to learning new skills, especially when you are gainfully employed. However, you must be determined to do so to avoid being unemployable. The first step is to identify the specific area where you need to sharpen your skill, once this is done you can then begin to find out how. Thankfully, the technological development has also meant that you can acquire lots of skills on the go, at home, and at work provided you have internet access, a computer or other smart devices.
Online Course and Training
There are many courses available to learn, depending on what you intend to achieve, the list of websites is non-exhaustive but I will provide few websites where you can learn new skills comfortably and affordable. Udemy, Alison, Udacity, Microsoft Virtual Academy, Open University, Open College, future learn, Learn direct, and you can also type specific skills you want to learn on YouTube.
For the unemployed, learning a new skill has the potential to unlock a job(s) for you. If you are studying an undergraduate course at the moment, one of the ways to prepare yourself for employment is to undertake internship programmes during your studies. This will consolidate your formal learning at the university and expose you to real life work-based experiences. Search for internship opportunities in the UK through the Graduate Talent Pool.
University education is not for everyone, there are millions of people who have a sustainable livelihood through vocational training and apprenticeship. City and Guild offers a lot of practical vocational qualifications that can help you get into the job market very quickly. These qualifications range broadly across many occupations, visit their website to find yourself an opportunity; City and Guild and hot courses abroad.
Apprenticeship is continuously growing as a source of employment in terms of acquiring skills, apprenticeship combines practical training in a job with study and prepares individuals for long-term employment. The UK government have a robust approach to helping people find apprenticeship opportunities. If this is for you, register your interest at https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship.
Career or job fair is another great opportunity to meet up with employers in person, it is an employment clinic where job seekers are diagnosed by the employers to determine their suitability for job vacancies. You may find yourself a job quickly through career fairs, and even better is the fact that you can get direct assessment and feedback from employers which can help you. Visit the following websites to find some fairs, job fairs, London graduate fair, career group, career interactive, and London job show.
The bottom line is that whether you are a job seeker or just seeking career change/progression, learning new skills is unavoidable. In fact, your skill set is your most valuable resources to finding a job. “Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success” according to Scott Adams. To remain valuable and competitive in the job market, decide today, learn something new and reach for the sky.
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