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Gerardo Castillo Ceballos, Professor of the School of Education and Psychology

Against unemployment, growing employability

Sun, 03 Feb 2019 13:44:00 +0000 Published in Alto de Aragón Newspaper

In the not too distant past, companies complained that the candidates they received from universities had too much theory and not enough internship. The students themselves were not aware of this lack until they left the classroom. My concern about this issue led me to guide many university students and to write an almost self-help book for them: "From University to work space".

 To address this problem, some universities made use of the subject of the Practicumand encouraged students to "do curriculum" without waiting to graduate.

Despite these innovations, many students continue to ignore the fact that in today's fast-paced society it is not enough to "fatten" the curriculum by adding activities and knowledge; what is crucial is to become an "employable" person.

This training is not obtained through instruction, but from a self-directed learning based on reflection on personal experiences in search of employment. It is a modality of research in action. It involves learning from both successes and mistakes. For example, in a work interview a candidate discovered a mistake: impatience to get the work offered. The latter is not asserting oneself, as it is interpreted as grasping at straws, grasping at straws:

"-What is your strength?


-Thank you. We will call you.

-I'd better wait here..."

Those who manage to be "employable" have learned to adapt to the constant changes in the labor market and to what companies need in each case; they also know how to adopt different strategies from those of other candidates and thus attract the attention of employers.

Saint-Mezard defines employability as the skill to find employment in a continuously changing labor market. The employable person knows how to adapt to the changing work and access successive jobs. Each worker is manager of the development of his or her own employability.

In a labor context of great uncertainty, the perception staff of one's own abilities and knowing how to "sell" them to potential employers, marketing oneself, is a determining factor.

According to the International Labor Organization work (ILO), employability is the aptitude of a person to find a work, keep it and progress in it. This aptitude is made up of competencies that are transferable from one employment to another.

 Those who adapt to change are open to innovation and know how to take advantage of it. On the other hand, those who resist evolution are victims of their inertia: they are dominated by anxiety and do not perform on their work. Among the many features of employability, the following are worth mentioning:

-Acquiring a broad, flexible and diversified preparation, which allows providing solutions to any new problem that may arise. Today's companies place a high value on transversal skills;

Possess a professional skill derived from the regular effort to be up to date. It includes the ability to learn new technologies;

Personally take control of one's own professional degree program . Those who know and trust in their abilities will not feel conditioned by external factors, such as, for example, economic crises that lead companies to reduce staff;

Create a "brand" staff that, due to its originality, is attractive to employers and allows us to be both demanders and providers of work;

Adapt the CV to the requirements of each offer on work. The same CV is not suitable for all situations. Each case requires different skills, so it is advisable to highlight the most appropriate ones;

-Find out about the characteristics of the companies you plan to contact. Typical interview question for work: Why do you think you will fit in this business? (It is very useful to visit the website of each company).

I believe that the above arguments explain why employability is a quality that is currently considered one of the four pillars of European policy for employment: employability, entrepreneurship, adaptability and equal opportunities.