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Ten Key Employability Skills

Student journalism is an ideal vehicle for developing young people's workplace skills.  This is particularly important as the requirement for work experience has been removed from the national curriculum whilst at the same time a CBI Survey found that 70% of employers want to see employability skills being taught at school.

“What matters most in a child's development, they say, is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years.  What matters instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence.”

Paul Tough, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

      1. Communication: Student journalists have to develop excellent written and presentation skills but they also have to be able to interview people, listen carefully and communicate with their team.  They learn to be clear, concise, and focused, and to tailor their message to their audience.
      2. Research skills: Researching and producing stories prepares students for the kind of rigorous research, analysis and writing expected at university and in employment.
      3. Teamwork: Students have to work as a member of a team taking on responsibility, and supporting and managing others.
      4. Leadership: Editors have to show leadership assigning stories, delegating tasks, setting deadlines, feeding back and motivating the team. All news team members will have leadership opportunities.
      5. Organisation and time management: Student journalists and editors have to prioritise and work efficiently to get their stories out to a deadline.  They have be able to plan ahead recognising when academic pressures are going to be at their most intense and make arrangements.  They have to keep accurate notes.
      6. Critical Thinking: Student journalism fosters critical thinking skills, helping students think more deeply and clearly about content, especially when that content is challenging.  It gives them practice in the skills of sequencing, logic, and constructing a persuasive argument.
      7. Confidence: As journalists, they have to interact with school management and other adults.  They have to make phone calls to people they don’t know and ask them for information or favours.
      8. Creativity and Problem solving: Keeping the newspaper fresh and interesting requires students to approach stories from new and creative angles.  They have to be able to take a logical and analytical approach to solving problems and resolving issues.
      9. Perseverance and motivation: Getting the story, interviews, quotes and detailed research involves a lot of hard work and perseverance.  The best journalists are those that keep going.
      10. Ability to work under pressure: Good journalists work well under pressure.  Student journalists learn to keep calm in a crisis and not become overwhelmed or stressed when something goes wrong.