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Core Competencies – Core competencies are those competencies that any
successful employee will need to rise through the organisation.  These
Competencies would generally relate in some way to the business of the

Key Competencies – Key competencies contribute to valued outcomes of
the organisation, defining the abilities of individuals to meet strategic
demands, and are important not just for specialists but for all individuals.

Critical Competencies – Critical competencies are competencies
without which the organisation will be unable to achieve its goals and


When implementing Competency Management it is
important therefore to understand the difference between Skills and
Competencies as well as the different types of competencies needed in the
organisation.  It is also extremely important to categorise the
Competencies so that investments in core HR initiatives, such as Development,
Workforce Planning, Career Management, etc. are based on initiatives that will
deliver sound Return on Investment.

Personal attributes mostly required by the employers are loyalty, commitment, honesty and  integrity ,enthusiasm ,reliability, personal presentation,
sense, positive self-esteem, As ease of humour, a balanced attitude to work and home-life,
an-ability to deal with
pressure, motivation and adaptability.            How can these attributes teach within the teaching process?


Skills vs Competencies

The terms Skills and Competencies are used,
virtually, interchangeably.  In fact,
with many HR practitioners, Competencies seem to only relate to “Behavioural”
competencies as defined in a Competency Dictionary.  But this really is not the case.  So, we make an attempt at defining the
difference between Skills and Competencies, and providing some insight into the
different types of Competencies and the level of criticality of Competencies in

An example of this in an IT context is “Programming”.  To effectively write a computer program one
needs good analytical, logical, and interpretive ability as well as the skill
to write the program in a specific language.  
But underlying the ability to use that skill effectively is analytical,
logical and interpretive ability – those are Competencies.


Basic differentiate between skill &


This is necessary to do the job and tends to
be job related.  It includes professional
knowledge, institutional knowledge (e.g. knowledge to be an accountant,
academic, engineer, IT specialist etc.). 
This is what people need to know to do their jobs.


Skills are needed to perform your functional
role and include technical skills, management skills i.e. to manage resources
and people (e.g. project management, time management, planning processes,
budget management and appraisal).



These are the attitudes and behaviour patterns
that underpin how people do their jobs. Competencies influence how well people
apply their knowledge, technical and management skills. NTU’s competency
framework reflects the culture and values we expect staff to demonstrate in
their roles.




 Basics skills necessary for getting ,keeping and doing well on a job (Robinson,2000).

Skill can be defined as a
present, observable competence to perform a
learned behaviour regarding the relationship between mental activity and bodily movements (Maxine, 1997).

Overtoom(2000), defined
employability skills as “transferable core skill groups that represent essential functional and enabling knowledge, skills and attitudes
required by the 21stcentury workplace…
necessary for career success at all levels of employment and for all levels of
education” These definitions were extracted from a number of different sources,
but they all seem to say, more-or-less, the same thing:

Proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed
through training or experience.

The ability, coming from one’s knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to
do something well

An ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and
sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carry out complex activities or job
functions involving ideas (cognitive skills), things (technical skills), and/or
people (interpersonal skills).

A skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results

A learned ability to bring about the result you want, with maximum
certainty and efficiency

Proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed
through training or experience.

So, a Skill is something Learned in order to
be able to carry out one or more job functions.

Skill is an ability to perform a specific task
and employability is about having the capability to gain initial employment,
maintain employment and obtain new employment if required.

 Employability skills are “those basic skills
necessary for getting, keeping, and doing well on a job.” Robinson (2000)

Employability skills as the skills that can be
teachable (Lorraine, 2007) and transferable (Yorke, 2006).

 Employability skills are referred to as
generic capabilities, transferable skills, basic  skill, essential  skills,  
work  skills,   soft  
skill,   core  skills,  
core competencies and enabling skills or even key skills (DEST 2007;
Yorke, 2006; Knight, P. and Yorke, M., 2002; Hiroyuki, 2004).

 Employability skills are about ‘defining a
theoretically ideal employee from an employer’s perspective (ALTC Report, 2009).

The ILO definition of employability skills The
ILO defines employability as relating to “portable competencies and
qualifications that enhance an individual’s capacity to make use of the
education and training opportunities available in order to secure and retain
decent work, to progress within the enterprise and between jobs, and to cope
with changing technology and labour market conditions” (ILO, 2004, Para. I.2(d)). “Individuals are most employable when they
have broad-based education and training, basic and portable high-level skills,
including teamwork, problem solving, information and communications technology
(ICT) and communication and language skills… This combination of skills
enables them to adapt to changes in the world of work.” (ILO 2005, Para. 33, Footnote 1)

Cognitive skills of critical thinking: Analysis
and synthesis, identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence,
detect false logic or reasoning, identify implicit values, define terms
adequately, generalise appropriately. Appraise your own and others work.
Provide constructive criticism.

Effective problem solving and decision
making:Appropriate quantitative/qualitative skills for identifying, formulating
and solving business problems. The ability to create, analyse, evaluate and
assess a range of options. Capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of
situations.Independent thinking to develop ideas and to find solutions to
issues. Abstract reasoning – solve problems and process information in a
complex and intangible way.

Effective communication, oral and in writing:
Ability to interact in intellectual debate, to discuss issues with
peers/supervisors, and to express a viewpoint clearly and concisely in words /
in writing. Using a range of media for communication (which are widely used in
business, such as for business reporting).

Numeracy and quantitative skills: Understand
mathematical concepts. Data analysis, Interpretation and extrapolation.The use
of models for business problems and phenomena.

Effective self-management: Time management,
planning, organisation and efficiency. The ability to meet
deadlines.Self-starting, individual initiative and enterprise.Autonomy and
independent learning.Being adaptable to changing circumstances.

Effective performance within a team
environment: Team building, influencing and project management skills. The
ability to be a constructive team member, contributing positively to a group’s
success. The ability to make decisions, motivate and manage people, and handle
a range of tasks simultaneously.

Interpersonal skills: Effective listening,
negotiating, persuasion and presentation. Ability to relate well to others, and
work successfully with them in a team or as their leader.

Ability to conduct research (in to business
& management / economics issues) : Ability to conduct research individually
or as part of a team. Requiring familiarity with and an evaluative approach to
a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies,
which inform the overall learning process.

Self-reflection and criticality: Sensitivity
to diversity (cultures, ethical dilemmas, business and management issues).
Principles of moral values and right conduct. Learning to learn and developing
a continuing appetite for learning. Reflective, adaptive and collaborative
learning.Self-awareness – an understanding of one’s self (e.g. behaviours and
reactions to others).

IT skills : 
Using technology to access information, for analysing and interpreting
data and/or research. Using technology to present work in a suitable format and
for communication.Use of specialist software.Development of IT management




Employability skills are all about the ability
of individuals to exhibit their skills to the prospective employers and the
ability to execute the tasks thereby achieving organisational goals and
objectives. Besides, it also talks about the ability to switch over to other
jobs comfortably. Employability skills refer to specific skills essential for
employment. These are the critical tools and traits required to perform tasks
at workplace. These skills are much sought after these days by employers. The
needs of employability skills differ from country to country and from sector to
sector and from time to time. However, certain qualities such as communication
skills, interpersonal skills, integrity, right attitude, problem solving,
decision making and team building skills can be taken as a few common skills of
employability skills. In simple Employability skills are the ‘ready for work’
skills vital to do the job!

Governments around the world have drawn upon
human capital theory (Becker 1975) in the formulation of policy in respect of
higher education. Human capital theory links economic success to the education
of the workforce. The development of employability in graduates has thus become


Graduate employability is being the possession
of understandings, skills and personal attributes necessary to perform
adequately in a graduate- level job. When considering higher education’s
potential for contributing to the economic well- being it is helpful to
distinguish between the formation of subject specific understandings and skills
and the promotion of generic achievements. Where the world of employment has,
by and large been satisfied with the disciplinary understanding and skills
developed as a consequence of participation in higher education, it has been
less happy with graduates’ generic attainments like literacy and numeracy, self
efficacy and meta-cognition.

Now days, the concept of generic skills is
widely used in higher education which refers a range of qualities and
capacities of a graduate in higher education context, i.e. capacities to
identify,  access  and 
manage  knowledge  and 
information;  personal  attributes 
such  as  imagination, 
creativity  and intellectual
rigour; and values such as ethical practice, persistence, integrity and

 Competency and skills were interpreted with a
different approach. Skill concerns the execution of a single task, while
competence deals more with the execution of a whole series of different tasks
in a certain (occupational) domain, all of them performed well and in coherence
or integrated consistent core set of desirable attributes, such as
communication skills, interpersonal skills and team working, problem solving,
analytic, critical and  reflective
ability, willingness to learn and continue learning, flexibility and
adaptability, risk-taking and self-skills and these attributes are often
independent of the degree subject. Universities are incorporating extracurricular
activities into their study programme and changing their subject to develop
specific skills through specialist modules. We also need to identify the skill
set that will best serve the future labor market.


In order to enhance competitive advantage for
graduate employment, students need to develop employability skills in addition
to the acquisition of subject-specific knowledge and study programmes need to
identifying the way of improving that requirement. Personal attributes mostly
required by the employers are loyalty, commitment, honesty and  integrity, enthusiasm, reliability, personal
presentation, common sense, positive self -esteem, A sense of humour, a
balanced attitude to work and home life, an ability to deal with pressure,
motivation and adaptability.

How can these attributes teach within the
teaching process?

Coopers and Lybrand (1998) define
’employability skills’ in terms of four key areas: 1). traditional intellectual
skills – e.g. critical evaluation, logical argument; 2). Key skills –
communication, IT, etc. 3). Personal attributes – motivation, self-reliance and
4).Knowledge of organisations and how they work.  There are several synonyms – core, key,
generic, personal transferable skills, common, work or employment related
skills – this is another of the reasons why it is difficult to conceptualise
what is meant by employability skills. 

As conceptualised byKatz(1955), the required workplace
skills include technical skills, human skills, and conceptual skills. Technical skills as those skills such as the content specific knowledge that individual must have for “understanding of, and proficiency in,
a specific kind of activity,
particularly, one involving methods, processes, procedures,
or techniques” (Katz, p. 91). Human skills centred on the leader?stability to work successfully with individuals and teams while building cooperation
among team members. For success in human skills, an individual must have a strong sense of self-awareness and the skill of working comfortably with others. The third skill required was conceptual skills or the skills to work with ideas and concepts, and the ability to bring together and make meaning of all the various functions and roles within an organisation or the “sensing of the organisations as a whole”(Katz, p. 93).

DelaHarpeetal.(2000)suggest that there is concern world- wide that existing undergraduate programmes are not producing graduates with the kind of life -long learningskillsandprofessionalskillswhichtheyneedinordertobesuccessfulintheircareers.


TheEight Dimensions
ofBasic EmployabilitySkills


Based on the literature, the gap among employers,
educators ,and students has continued, and possibly widened.For the purposes of this study,
then, it is important to more fully define what constitutes basic employ ability skills.


Basic Literacy and Numeracy Skills: are defined in the SCANS report as the ability to read, write, speak, listen, and perform basic mathematical procedures. Reading skills include the ability to interpret written information. Writing skills include the ability to communicate thoughts in letters and reports. Mathematical skills include the ability to solve practical problems through the use of a variety of mathematical techniques.


Critical Thinking Skills:include the ability to think creatively, make decisions, and solve problems (SCANS,


Leadership Skills: include the ability to motivate others to achieve organisational goals (Schermerhorn, 2008). Typical characteristics of effective leadership are responsibility, self- esteem, and the ethical qualities of integrity and honesty.


Management Skills: include the activities of planning, organising, leading, and controlling to meet organisational goals (Schermerhorn, 2008).


Interpersonal Skills: include the ability to work in teams, help others to learn, provide customer service,
negotiate agreements, resolve differences ,and work in a multicultural organisation (SCANS, 1991).


Information Technology Skills: include the ability to select
procedures, equipment, and tools to acquire and evaluate data (SCANS,


Systems Thinking Skills: include the ability to understand and operate within social, organisational, and technological
Designing and suggesting modifications to systems



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