Adviza’s employability programmes are designed to help people develop skills, confidence and impetus to help them find better opportunities in learning and work. In a variety of ways, programmes like The Prince’s Trust Team, BEEP, Skill Up Bucks, Building Futures and Multiply help people gain important employability skills and experiences that can help them tackle barriers to greater fulfilment and success.

Happily, with a little support, anyone can improve their employability skills, and this often goes hand in hand with growing confidence about work.

What are employability skills? 

Employability skills are also known as transferable or “soft” skills. They are a set of personal competencies that enable individuals to thrive and contribute effectively in the workplace. While technical (or “hard”) skills are specific to a particular job or industry, employability skills are universal and can be applied across various professions.

Don’t let the phrase “soft skills” lull you into thinking that employability skills are easy to master. On the contrary, it is usually an abundance of soft skills that allows people to climb the career ladder in their chosen profession.  

Below, we discuss just some of many important employability skills, why they are important, and how you can develop them further—outside of our employability programmes.

Communication skills

A very important skillset that can refer to written and verbal skills, listening, and how competent you are at delivering a message in different ways depending on the audience.

For example, if you’re giving a Chief Finance Officer an update on a project your team is working on, they probably only need the headlines, whereas when you brief your team about the project they’ll need to understand all the relevant detail, including where they fit in.

Teamwork and collaborative working

The capacity to work collaboratively with colleagues, respecting diverse opinions and contributions. Being a team player is vital: in today’s competitive, complex work environments it usually takes a team to get things done and even roles that require you to be very focused on your own success (such as some sales roles) normally require you to be a great team player too.

Employers appreciate people who are really proactive in supporting their peers without sacrificing the quality of their own work. At the same time, many employers look for people who can also work well under their own supervision when required– another useful skill.

Good communication and teamworking are needed in order to get pretty much anything done well in the workplace. Both have become even more valuable as employees increasingly work remotely or to flexible hours, resulting in the need for shared work, and greater barriers to clear communication.


The ability to analyse challenges, identify solutions, and make informed decisions. Problem-solvers are highly valued for their ability to navigate complex situations.

As you progress in your career you are more likely to be expected to identify challenges and come up with solutions for them; it will win you lots of friends at work, including your manager! 

Digital Literacy

Proficiency in using the basic digital tools and technology relevant to your field, such as Microsoft Word, email and video networking like Teams or Zoom.

Adaptability and flexibility

The willingness and capability to adjust to changing circumstances, learn new skills, and embrace innovation. Adaptability is crucial in a rapidly-evolving job market where few things stay the same for long. 


The ability to lead and inspire others, whether in a formal managerial role or as a team influencer. Strong leadership skills can really set you apart and lead to you being earmarked for progression. A common learning experience for people new to any kind of leadership is recognising that as a leader, you can’t possibly do all the hands-on work anymore. Instead, it’s your job to ensure that people around you are equipped, able and motivated to do their job. Their success becomes your success.

Time Management

Effectively managing your time and priorities to meet deadlines and achieve goals. Good time management is a major skill and plays a huge part in enhancing productivity and reducing stress. Many people struggle to manage their time, but there are tools and good practices that can help. One useful practice is blocking out your diary for specific types of activity, based on your knowledge of yourself. Allocate mornings for deep-focus tasks if that’s the time of day when you can concentrate best, and so on. You can waste hours trying to force a task when you’re not in the right frame of mind. Admittedly, you may not always have a choice. 

Emotional Intelligence

Understanding and managing your emotions, and empathising with others. High emotional intelligence contributes to positive workplace relationships and is very highly valued by employers.

The ability to understand your own triggers, your behaviour and the impact it has on others—as well as what motivates the different individuals around you—is all part of emotional intelligence, and an important skill. This is especially true for leaders and managers. 

Why Employability Skills Matter

A strong set of employability skills makes you a desirable job candidate in any industry, and often differentiates between entry-level employees and those who climb the corporate ladder (if that’s important to you).

Employability skills can increase your job security, because adaptability, flexibility and problem-solving skills can help you remain relevant and secure in your position. The more you work on all these skills, the more likely you are to expand your comfort zone and grow your confidence, which can positively impact your overall wellbeing. 

How to develop employability skills and showcase them

Keep learning about your chosen career by following industry trends, reading around the subject and doing all you can to acquire new skills. While this will sharpen up your hard skills, it will also help you keep abreast of the trending soft skills in your profession, so you can focus on these.

You can also speak to your HR or Learning & Development department who can support you with Continuous Professional Development, or you may have to speak to your own boss about this.

Practice communication by engaging in public speaking, writing, or networking opportunities to refine your skills.

Seek feedback: request constructive feedback from colleagues and supervisors to identify areas for improvement.

Group of adult volunteersVolunteer and join clubs or networks. Participating in volunteering activities or joining clubs is a great way to build teamwork and leadership experiences: just get involved and watch your confidence grow! Networking can also help you develop your communication, negotiation and self-awareness, as you start to become aware of your personal brand (how people see you, what qualities they associate you with, and how you can impact that).

Enrol in online courses or workshops to enhance your digital literacy and critical thinking. You can look at our website to find out more about the workshops, programmes and personal development Adviza provides.

Above all, remember to work on YOURSELF as well as your job! It’s all too easy to get so preoccupied doing your job that you forget to work on your own development, but the person most responsible for your continued development is not the HR manager: it’s you.

So treat yourself as a project, and ask your manager, HR or Learning and Development team (if you have one) for help developing the critical skills in your area of work, as well as doing all you can to seize your own learning and growth opportunities. 

Adviza's employability resources and services 

Here you can find some of our products and services that help people to develop employability skills. Have a look and get in touch by using the contacts on the relevant page if you want to know more.  

Careers Guidance in Schools

We provide Careers Information, Advice and Guidance services for our partner schools across the Thames Valley, helping young people to learn more about the options available to them and doing all we can to ensure students do not fall out of education, training or employment. 

Berkshire Education Employer Partnership (BEEP)

BEEP’s purpose is to align young people and businesses in Berkshire, encouraging employers to create opportunities and nurture talent while developing employability skills in individuals.

Building Futures

Building Futures is a partnership between Adviza and other organisations that changes the lives of adults and young people across Buckinghamshire. 

Skill Up Bucks (SUB)

Skill Up Bucks is an employability programme that creates opportunities for people aged 17+ to meet and interact with employers across Buckinghamshire. 

The Prince’s Trust Team programme

The Prince's Trust Team initiative is a 12-week personal development programme to help unemployed young people build confidence, meet new people, acquire new skills and gain a qualification. Adviza runs the programme three times a year in Aylesbury and Bracknell, and it’s coming to Slough soon.


The Multiply scheme aims to improve outcomes for people in Buckinghamshire and help them gain new skills and qualifications which can open up opportunities. It’s for those aged 19+ who do not hold a level 2 numeracy qualification. 


A paid-for online careers resource that helps people learn more about a huge variety of careers—it covers over 1,400 jobs—including qualification and entry routes. It features a “Careers Wizard” that helps you quickly get ideas about careers that might be right for you. 


19th October 2023


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