Employability & work

Table of contents

Employability is a term that has been derived from the term employment. Employment basically refers to the capability of a person being admitted or hired in a labour or job market following his qualifications or the job requirements. The process of employability does not stop at that point of being hired, but also on how to maintain the newly acquired job, thus sustainability. Comprehensively, employability revolves around the areas of knowledge, skills and attitude on an individual.

Knowledge refers to the extent to which an individual is well versed in the area of inquiry, and how he can use the acquired knowledge to solve the problem; skills refers to the various or different forms of problem solving alternatives to a arrive at the desired results); attitude refers to the way of doing a particular job. Employability in general is about work and ability to get employed. Therefore employability refers either to the ability to obtain first employment, ability to maintain employment and ability to acquire a fresh or new employment .

The ability to gain a first employment translates to enquiring about the career options, and understanding the world and its dynamic nature. Maintaining employment means that an individual makes changes between the jobs within the same organization so that to meet the new job requirements. Finding new employment means that one may decide to become an independent individual(s) in the job market and are able to search for themselves employment of their interest within and between institutions effectively. (Patricia, 2001)

Also the individuals require relevant, usable and job related information which will further help them in making sound and rational decisions about the labour market opportunities available at their door. This justifies the claim that says, employability is a dual equation (meaning, a two-sided equation). Therefore individuals need different support so as to overcome issues that may inhibit them from learning and developing. Moreover, the support should also entail enabling the individual in realising the usefulness of the information and how to interpret the information and turning it into intelligence.

(Atul, 1987) On top of this, an individual’s employability also, is dependant on other demonstrated abilities such as leadership traits, action planning, flexibility, and creativity, team-working; persuade skills, decisiveness among others. All this traits can be combined together so as to get the best person for employment, and therefore an individual who possess more of this traits find it easier to get a job because this what all potential employers are out for. This means that, all this traits can be narrowed down to four components of employability and are discussed as under:-


The four components of employability are; Assets, Deployment, Presentation and, in the context of personal circumstances and the labour market. a) Assets; Employability assets of a person entails what they know, what they do with what they know and how they do it, that is, knowledge, skills and attitudes respectively. Here, the basic idea is the transferability and practicability of the said skills from one field of work business to another. Employability asset therefore uniquely identifies one individual from another.

That is, this component distinguishes one character from another. These skills that uniquely identify an individual are virtues such as reliability and integrity, communication skills, problem solving and key personal attributes such as motivation. Others are team working, which brings about harmony in the work place, which in turn boosts the organization’s performance. An individual who possesses this component is able to work confidently with a group and listening their opinions, identifying individual differences and hence able to deal with difficult people.

He is also able to convince others using tact and diplomacy. Besides this, he is able to delegate duties and responsibilities without losing control. However, having acquired knowledge, skills and attitudes does not guarantee one to be competent in the contemporary era of job market , but they need also explore and exhaust their assets to, market and make sale out of them. (Marcus 2005) b) Deployment; Deployment refers to the ability to swiftly switch from one area of job opportunity to another where there are other added benefits.

There exists a solid relationship between assets and deployment. This is true because people are aware of the arising better opportunities and therefore individuals are willing to pursue other courses, and trainings that are designed to matches with those of arising employment opportunities. Deployment is facilitated by the ability of an individual to flexible. A flexible mind requires that an individual responds quickly to new information before others gets to it. This increases an individual’s competitive advantage in the changing environment of business.

There are major drives or factors that leads to deployment and they are tied around self awareness That is, identifying your interests and abilities; knowing what opportunities exists and minimum qualifications needed and ; a strategic plan of how to move from where you are now to where you want to be. Knowing how to switch from one destination to another requires vigorous and thorough analysis of oneself and hence realization of personal interests. (Richard 1973) Presentation;

This component tries to explain the general achievements an individual has portrayed or demonstrated his or her employability assets. This may be supported by his academic accreditations and any other support testimonials, for example, recommendation letters, work experience or other track records. This component is very strong, because they also show the ability of an individual to present information clearly. For example, the Curriculum Vitae shows information accurately in writing and arrange analyse this information in a logical order.

These are very important because they give a potential employer an insight of who you are, what you have been doing and of what he expects from you. This further indicates the level of competence he should expect from you. (Patricia 2001), c) Personal circumstances and the labour market; The employability asset of an individual depends on the inter-relationship between the individual’s personal, other external factors such as macroeconomic demands, and opportunities in the job market among other salient factors, example, the growth of economy of a nation.

The personal circumstances may refer to things such as disabilities, marital status, and others. For example, a visually handicapped individual may find it very difficult to secure employment in the banking sector or in Armed Forces whereby the sense of sight is vital. On the other hand, external factors, besides the macro-economic demand and levels of job opportunities, they also include the market regulations and the selection behaviour of the recruiting employer.

Therefore it is clear that employability does not only depend on the personal circumstances and external factors but also the inter-relationship between the two.


Having discussed the four areas under which employability should be argued or looked at from, it is worth noting that an individual can be said to have the employer-relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes, but these aspects of a good employee are not sufficient to guarantee him or her a future in the job market.

Issues such as change in technology among other global issues example, increase in population, must be considered when choosing or selecting employment opportunity. In my view, the government policies that specifies as to who should get employed must be considered when discussing employability. Last but not least is that individuals should comprehensively explore and identify their skills and interests so that they secure employment that best suits them. On top of identifying these interests, they should also be train to be flexible and should move with change in technology and time.


  • Patricia, W. 2001, Employability from Theory to Practice, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswich Richard, V.
  • 1973, Employment,Expansion and Metropolitan trade, Praeger Publishers, New York Marcus, P. 2005, Skill Formation and Globalization, Ashgate Publishers, Aldershot, England Atul, K.
  • 1987, The State of Poverty in India, Cambridge University Press, New York Charles B.
  • 1972, Upgrading Blue Collar and Service Workers, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore

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