Ensuring that you have a good range of up-to-date skills is becoming increasingly essential to remain and progress in work. Economists have identified that low-skilled jobs which traditionally paid high wages are being rapidly removed from the economy. Increasingly, the ability to perform different skills and demonstrate expertise is becoming more important to securing well-paid work.
But how do you make yourself more skilled?
Firstly, you need to assess your current skill level. The National Careers Service has an online skills health check which you can find here. These tests can help you to assess your skills and any areas where you may need to develop, and are also useful practice for applying for jobs (employers are increasingly using similar tools as part of their recruitment process).
Next, you will need to use every opportunity to develop your skills:
There may be access to training courses to improve your knowledge and enhance your skills. From handling complaints to driving a forklift truck, the key is to find out how you can improve your knowledge, whilst also acquiring a certificate to showcase your newfound skills. Depending on where you work, you might also be able to get funding for NVQ courses such as online Food Handling and Advice and Guidance.
In your home, think of all the different chores you are responsible for, from caring for children to planning your weekly budget or completing DIY jobs. Is there is anything you would like to improve in your life outside of work? If so, finding an evening course or just practising at home can not only improve your day to day life but allow you to demonstrate these transferable skills to an employer.
You can get more practical experience by volunteering. If you identify an area where you would like to develop your skills, what better way to improve by volunteering to get the skills you need while helping others? Look at websites like Do.it or get in contact with local groups so you can gain more practical experience and gain useful references and contacts for job applications.
There are an increasing number of places to learn subjects for free and to pay for valid NVQ qualifications on the internet. From Alison to the courses at edX, you can develop your knowledge in a range of subjects and then learn to progress further all at the click of a mouse!
By developing your skills, you will increase your chances of finding long-lasting work. But it is also important to view your skills development as an on-going pursuit – the best opportunities will go to those who are always looking for the next opportunity to develop and become invaluable to their employer.