Employability Skills Framework

Employability skills are the skills or capabilities that are needed for work. These include behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and personal qualities such as self-management and resilience. New Zealand and international employers tell us these skills are essential for getting and keeping a job. In recruiting staff, employers look for employability skills alongside educational achievement, work experience and other essential skills such as literacy, numeracy and ICT.

The Employability Skills Framework is a resource that describes the employability skills most commonly identified by New Zealand employers for all young people to be work ready. It has been developed by the Pathways Advisory Group*, which includes employer and industry representatives, educators, government agencies, and industry training representatives. This resource is a cross-sector effort that provides school leaders, teachers, students, tertiary organisations, iwi organisations and employers with a common understanding of what employability skills are. Having a shared language to describe key employability skills will support increased understanding between employers, educators and young people about what is needed from employees in the workforce.

Versions of the resource are available in English and Te Reo Māori for students, employers and educators. The resource aligns with existing frameworks and research, including the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. It has been developed and tested with a range of potential users across New Zealand, including students, employers, secondary teachers, careers advisers, and employment case managers.

Employability skills framework

1. Positive attitude

a)    Is positive and has a “can do” attitude.

b)    Is optimistic, honest and shows respect.

c)    Is happy, friendly and enthusiastic.

d)    Is motivated to work hard towards goals.

2. Communication

a)    Understands, and reflects on, the way they communicate and how it affects others.

b)    Asks questions when unsure or unclear.

c)    Understands how employees, employers and customers communicate.

d)    Speaks, listens and shares ideas appropriately.

3. Team work

a)    Works well with others to complete tasks and meet goals.

b)    Contributes to developing new ideas or approaches.

c)    Works well with others of different genders, cultures or beliefs.

d)    Recognises the authority of supervisors and managers, and follows directions.

4. Self-management

a)    Arrives at work on time, with appropriate clothing and equipment to complete a work day.

b)    Understands, and reflects on, their own words, actions and behaviour, and how these affect others.

c)    Shows commitment and responsibility.

d)    Is dependable, follows instructions and completes assigned tasks.

e)    Is responsible for their own health and wellbeing, and follows health and safety guidelines in the workplace.

5. Willingness to learn

a)    Willing to learn new tasks, skills and information.

b)    Curious and enthusiastic about the job, organisation and industry.

c)    Looks for opportunities to work more effectively to make the business better.

d)    Accepts advice and learns from feedback.

6. Thinking skills (problem solving and decision making)

a)    Identifies and assesses options before making a decision.

b)    Recognises problems and uses initiative to find solutions.

c)    Thinks about consequences before they act.

d)    Recognises when they need to seek advice.

7. Resilience

a)    Adaptable and flexible in new and changing situations.

b)    Handles challenges and setbacks and does not give up.

c)    Able to seek support and help when needed.

d)    Recognises and accepts mistakes made and learns from them.


Employability skills framework for Students

1. Positive attitude

a)    I am positive and have a “can do” attitude.

b)    I am optimistic, honest and show respect.

c)    I am happy, friendly and enthusiastic.

d)    I am motivated to work hard towards goals.

2. Communication

a)    I understand, and reflect on, the way I communicate and how it affects others.

b)    I ask questions when unsure or unclear.

c)    I understand how employees, employers and customers communicate.

d)    I speak, listen and share ideas appropriately.

3. Team work

a)    I work well with others to complete tasks and meet goals.

b)    I contribute to developing new ideas or approaches.

c)    I work well with others of different genders, cultures or beliefs.

d)    I recognise the authority of supervisors and managers, and follow directions.

4. Self-management

a)    I arrive at work on time, with appropriate clothing and equipment to complete a work day.

b)    I understand, and reflect on, my own words, actions and behaviour, and how these affect others.

c)    I show commitment and responsibility.

d)    I am dependable, follow instructions and complete assigned tasks.

e)    I am responsible for my own health and wellbeing, and follow health and safety guidelines in the workplace.

5. Willingness to learn

a)    I am willing to learn new tasks, skills and information.

b)    I am curious and enthusiastic about the job, organisation and industry.

c)    I look for opportunities to work more effectively to make the business better.

d)    I accept advice and learn from feedback.

6. Thinking skills (problem solving and decision making)

a)    I identify and assess options before making a decision.

b)    I recognise problems and use initiative to find solutions.

c)    I think about consequences before I act.

d)    I recognise when I need to seek advice.

7. Resilience

a)    I adapt and am flexible in new and changing situations.

b)    I handle challenges and setbacks and do not give up.

c)    I am able to seek support and help when needed.

d)    I recognise and accept mistakes made and learn from them.

Pou tarāwaho pūkenga whai mahi

Ko ngā "pūkenga ngāwari" he pūkenga whai mahi, kaha rānei e hiahiatia ana mō te mahi. Ko ngā mea pēnei i ngā whanonga, waiaro, whakapono me ngā pūmanawa whaiaro pēnei i te whakahaere-whaiaro me te whakawhirinaki. E kī mai ana ngā kaituku mahi o Aotearoa me tāwāhi he pūkenga waiwai ēnei mō te whiwhi mahi me te pupuri i tō mahi. Mō te kimi kaimahi, e kimihia ana e ngā kaituku mahi ko ngā pūkenga whai mahi i te taha i ngā tohu mātauranga, wheako mahi me ētahi atu pūkenga waiwai pēnei i te pānui me te tuhituhi, te tātai me te ICT.

He utauta te pou tarāwaho pūkenga Whai Mahi e whakaatu ana i ngā pūkenga whai mahi e tautuhia noatia ana e ngā kaituku mahi o Aotearoa mō ngā rangatahi katoa kia takatū, kia momoho ai rātau ki te mahi. He mea waihanga e te Advisory Pathways Group, he māngai kaituku mahi, kaiwhakaako, tari kāwanatanga, kaiwhakangungu ahumahi hoki. I takea mai te utauta mai i ngā mahi a te rāngai whānui e whakarato ana i ngā kaiārahi kura, kaiako, ākonga, whakahaere kura tuatoru, whakahaere ā-iwi me ngā kaituku mahi e mōhio ana he aha ngā pūkenga whai mahi. Mā te whai i tētahi reo tūhonohono hei whakaatu i ngā pūkenga whai mahi matua ka tautoko i te piki haere o te mōhio i waenga i ngā kaituku mahi, kaiwhakaako me ngā rangatahi hoki mō ngā mea e hiahiatia ana mai i ngā kaimahi kei te ohu mahi.

E wātea ana te rauemi nei i te reo Ingarihi me Te Reo Māori mā ngā ākonga, kaituku mahi me ngā kaiwhakaako. Ka hāngai te utauta nei ki ngā pou tarāwaho me ngā rangahau onāianei, tae atu ki te New Zealand Curriculum me Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. He mea waihanga me te whakamātautau e ngā kaiwhakamahi maha puta noa i Aotearoa, tae atu ki ngā ākonga, kaituku mahi, kaiako kura tuarua, ngā kaitohutohu umanga mahi, me ngā kaiwhakahaere kēhi mahi.

1. Waiaro pai

a)    He pai te wairua, ā, he whai waiaro "ka taea"

b)    He ngākau roroku tōna, he pono, he whakaaro nui

c)    He ngākau hari, whakahoahoa, tākare hoki

d)    He hīkaka ki te whai i ōna whāinga.

2. Whitiwhiti kōrero

a)    He mārama, he whakaaroaro ki te āhua o ana kōrero me te pānga ki ētahi atu.

b)    He uiui ki te kore ia e mōhio, e mārama rānei.

c)    He mārama he pēhea te whitiwhiti kōrero a ngā kaimahi, kaituku mahi, kiritaki hoki.

d)    He tika te kōrero, whakarongo me te whakaputa whakaaro.

3. Mahi ngātahi

a)    He pai te mahi me ētahi atu kia tutuki ai ngā mahi me ngā whāinga.

b)    He tuku whakaaro hei waihanga huatau hou, kaupapa rānei.

c)    He pai te mahi tahi me ētahi atu tāne/wāhine, ahurea, whakapono kē rānei.

d)    He mōhio ki te mana o ngā kaiārahi me ngā kaiwhakahaere, me te whai i ā rātau tohutohu.

4. Whakahaere-whaiaro

a)    He taetae atu ki te mahi i te wā tika, he mau kākahu tōtika, whai taputapu tika hoki e oti pai ai ngā mahi o ia rā.

b)    He mārama, he whakaaroaro hoki ki āna ake kupu, mahi, whanonga hoki me te pānga o ēnei ki ētahi atu.

c)    He pūmau, he whai kawenga.

d)    He pono ia, he whai i ngā tohutohu me te whakatutuki i ngā mahi i tohua.

e)    He whai kawenga mō tōna ake hauora, oranga hoki, me te whai i ngā aratohu hauora me te haumaru i te wāhi mahi.

5. He hiahia ki te ako

a)    He hiahia ki te ako mahi hou, pūkenga, kōrero hoki.

b)    He pākiki, tākare hoki ki te mahi, whakahaere, ahumahi hoki.

c)    He kimi i ngā huarahi e tōtika ake te mahi kia pai ake te pakihi.

d)    He ngākau tuwhera ki ngā tohutohu, ā, he ako mai i ngā whakahokinga kōrero mai.

6. Ngā pūkenga whakaaro (rapa rongoā me te tuku whakatau)

a)    He tautuhi me te tātari i ngā kōwhiringa i mua i te tuku whakatau.

b)    He mōhio ki ngā raruraru, ā, he wairua kakama tōna ki te rapa rongoā.

c)    He whakaaro mō ngā mutunga mai i mua i te mahi.

d)    He mōhio mō āhea rapu tohutohu ai.

7. Pakaritanga

a)    He urutau, he ngāwari hoki ki ngā āhuatanga hou, takahuri hoki.

b)    Ka taea noa ngā whakapātaritari me ngā whakararu, ā, kāore e mate wheke.

c)    Ka taea e ia te rapu tautoko, āwhina hoki ina hiahiatia ana.

d)    He mōhio, he āhukahuka i ngā hapa me ngā akoranga ka puta.


Te pou tarāwaho pūkenga whai mahi mā ngā Ākonga

1. Waiaro pai

a)    He wairua pai tōku, ā, he waiaro "ka taea".

b)    He ngākau roroku tōku, he pono, he whakaro nui.

c)    He ngākau hari, whakahoahoa, tākare hoki tōku.

d)    He hīkaka ahau ki te whai i ōku whāinga.

2. Whitiwhiti kōrero

a)    He mārama, he whakaaroaro hoki ahau ki te āhua o aku kōrero me te pānga ki ētahi atu.

b)    Ka uiui ahau ki te kore ahau e mōhio, e mārama rānei.

c)    He mārama ahau he pēhea te whitiwhiti kōrero a ngā kaimahi, kaituku mahi, kiritaki hoki.

d)    Ka tika taku kōrero, whakarongo me te whakaputa whakaaro.

3. Mahi ngātahi

a)    He pai taku mahi me ētahi atu kia tutuki ai ngā mahi me ngā whāinga.

b)    He tuku whakaaro ahau hei waihanga huatau hou, kaupapa rānei.

c)    He pai taku mahi tahi me ētahi atu tāne/wāhine, ahurea, whakapono kē rānei.

d)    Kei te mōhio ahau ki te mana o ngā kaiārahi me ngā kaiwhakahaere, me te whai i ā rātau tohutohu.

4. Whakahaere-whaiaro

a)    Ka taetae atu ahau ki te mahi i te wā tika, he mau kākahu tōtika, whai taputapu tika hoki e oti pai ai ngā mahi o ia rā.

b)    Ka mārama, ka whakaaroaro hoki ahau ki āku ake kupu, mahi, whanonga hoki me te pānga o ēnei ki ētahi atu.

c)    He pūmau, he whai kawenga ahau.

d)    He pono ahau, he whai i ngā tohutohu me te whakatutuki i ngā mahi i tohua.

e)    He whai kawenga ahau mō tōku ake hauora, oranga hoki, me te whai i ngā aratohu hauora me te haumaru i te wāhi mahi.

5. He hiahia ki te ako

a)    Kei te hiahia ahau ki te ako mahi hou, pūkenga, kōrero hoki.

b)    He pākiki ahau me te tākare ki te mahi, whakahaere, ahumahi hoki.

c)    Ka kimi ahau i ngā huarahi e tōtika ake te mahi kia pai ake te pakihi.

d)    He ngākau tuwhera tōku ki ngā tohutohu, ā, he ako mai i ngā whakahokinga kōrero mai.

6. Ngā pūkenga whakaaro (rapa rongoā me te tuku whakatau)

a)    Ka tautuhi ahau me te tātari i ngā kōwhiringa i mua i te tuku whakatau.

b)    Ka kite ahau i ngā raruraru, ā, he wairua kakama tōku ki te rapa rongoā.

c)    Ka whakaaro ahau mō ngā mutunga mai i mua i te mahi.

d)    Ka mōhio ahau mō āhea ahau rapu tohutohu ai.

7. Pakaritanga

a)    He urutau, he ngāwari hoki ahau ki ngā āhuatanga hou, takahuri hoki.

b)    Ka taea noa e ahau ngā whakapātaritari me ngā whakararu, ā, kāore ahau e mate wheke.

c)    Ka taea e ahau te rapu tautoko, āwhina hoki ina hiahiatia ana.

d)    Ka mōhio, ka āhukahuka ahau i ngā hapa me ngā akoranga ka puta.

Being work ready

To be work ready there are tasks you need to complete, and processes you will need to understand that will help you secure your first job. For example, you need to understand the different stages in the recruitment process. Being work ready may require you to draw on your employability skills. 

Being ready for work can be broken into five sections:

1. Job search strategies and process: You understand the tools necessary to search for and then secure a job: having a great CV; practicing interviews; researching skills to source information about that sector/company; knowing how to utilise various ways of finding roles available e.g. from job notice boards to recruitment agencies.

2. Workplace readiness:  You understand employee/employer relationships; workplace roles and cultures; your responsibilities and rights; workplace health & safety requirements; and the importance of being drug and alcohol free. Find out more: Employment New Zealand and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

3. Work experience and work ethic: You may have some experience helping manage family commitments, doing volunteer work, community activities, participating in sports teams and clubs, or valid examples of experience gained in similar jobs. This gives you valuable experience but also proves you are committed and reliable.

4. Transport: Make sure you can state you have reliable transport to get to work e.g. driver licence and car OR reliable family to get you there. If you are using public transport, ensure you always have a “Plan B” if the bus is late, and always have the money to get to work! (Please note, if you are completing shift work you will need to either apply in advance for dispensation for driving out of hours OR have your full licence).

5. Support: It’s great to have a support person who understands the requirements of the workplace and can mentor you on workplace issues if they arise.

Need help with getting ready for work?

CareersNZ is the government agency for employment and career development. They have a great selection of tools and resources that can help you get ready for work. They even have a Careers Advice phone line – 0800 222 733 (8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday) or Free text CAREER to 434 for a career planning workbook

CareersNZ

  • CareerQuest: If you’re not sure what you might like to do job-wise try the Career Quest!
  • How to get a job: There are loads of handy tips on recruitment and marketing yourself.
  • CV builder: They even have a tool to help you build up your CV!

Important Skills

Drivers licensing: Many entry level roles require you to either have, or be in the process of getting, your Restricted Drivers Licence (at minimum). By achieving this, you are showing an employer that you can learn a new skill and pass tests that are external to school.  This also proves that you can set and achieve a goal by working towards something. In addition to having a clean driver’s licence to help you get a job and then get to work, many roles require the use of company vehicles or machinery in the course of your work. 

Occupational health and safety: Having great health and safety practices in the workplace, on construction sites, in a factory environment etc is really important for all employers. This means that if you have First Aid qualifications, site safety courses, or any qualification that proves you have health and safety skills you will have a better chance of getting a job.

Financial literacy: This skill is about your ability to make informed judgments and make good decisions about the use and management of money. This includes being able to set a budget for yourself that takes into account your income and weekly expenses, and then sticking to it.  Employers love reliable workers and for young people this includes being able to get to and from work every day by having the funds to be able to pay for your vehicle or your use of public transport.

Literacy and numeracy: Having Level 2 NCEA by securing enough Literacy and Numeracy credits will have a significant and positive effect on your ability to secure a job. Employers need young workers with a good level of skill in reading instructions, complete reports calculate or measure and so on.

First aid certification, site safety courses, fork hoist licence, coding skills, software courses, pre trade certification, financial literacy, numeracy skills, digital technology skills, health and safety training, management or leadership courses, research and presentation skills, public speaking, degrees, diplomas and much more.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Employability Skills Framework?

The Employability Skills Framework is a resource that clearly describes the key employability skills or competencies young people need to enter the workforce. Employers tell us these skills are essential for getting and keeping a job. They include behaviours, attitudes and personal qualities such as self-management and resilience.

This resource has been developed to help young people to develop, describe and demonstrate these skills as they progress along learning and career pathways, and enter employment at different stages. It has been developed for young people, educators and employers to use, reference, and adapt. The resource is a cross-sector effort that provides school leaders, teachers, students, tertiary organisations, iwi organisations and employers with a common understanding of what employability skills are.

What is in the framework?

The framework describes seven key employability skills commonly identified by international and New Zealand employers for all young people to be work ready.

These skills are:

  • positive attitude
  • communication
  • team work
  • self-management
  • willingness to learn
  • thinking skills
  • resilience

What is the purpose of the framework?

The framework has been developed with the goal that it is used as a tool by employers in a variety of sectors, teachers, tertiary providers, students and parents. It gives employers, young people and educators a common framework for understanding and articulating what key employability skills are, to improve communication between these groups.

This resource will support young people develop, describe and demonstrate key employability skills as they progress along learning and career pathways, and enter employment at different stages. These skills are needed to secure work, maintain a foothold in the workforce and build a career.

How was the framework developed?

The framework has been developed by the Pathways Advisory Group, an advisory group made up of government agencies, education, employer and industry representatives, and industry training representatives that has supported the Ministry of Education to develop and implement the Vocational Pathways.

Members of the group worked together to develop a framework that would be useful for different sectors. This included testing the framework with potential users, including:

  • 31 educators, who represented teachers and educators, professional groups and associations, career advisors, MSD case managers, Gateway co-ordinators, teachers and educational advisers.
  • 65 employers and employer representatives – industry groups, corporates, small-medium enterprises, chambers of commerce.
  • 120 senior secondary students.

How do I use the framework?

Employability skills are best developed in, preferably, work related contexts or in secondary, tertiary and secondary-tertiary programmes that integrate employability skills, work readiness and specialist skills – for example, in Gateway or trades academy. Many education organisations understand that if students have these three skill areas, their chances of a successful transition into the world of work are greatly enhanced.


We recommend using the framework together with other guidance already provided on employability skills for students, educators and employers on the CareersNZ website – click here.

The Employability Skills Framework can also be used alongside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's new online resource aimed at employers – click here.


Case Studies

The following case studies highlight how a protoype of the Employability Skills Framework was used in two schools:

*To view the Pathways Advisory Group members click here - Pathways-Advisory-Group-member-organisations.docx