Getting Started
How do I develop employability Skills
The best way to develop employability skills is by knowing which ones you're already strong in, and identifying the skills you're not so strong in and improving them one at a time. You can do this through:

1. Volunteer work

Volunteering means giving your time to an employer for free, in exchange for work experience. This lets you gain the same skills you would gain in a paid work position, and there's no pressure to earn money. Almost all employers would love to get free help, so volunteering gives you the freedom of working anywhere you like and gaining any skills you want!

Skills you can develop through volunteer work:

  • Teaching neighbourhood kids how to play a sport at a recreation centre: leadership skills, responsibility skills
  • Hosting a radio show at a community radio station: communication skills, technical skills
Are you curious about volunteering?

Make a list of your interests, then think of jobs you could do to fulfill them. Once you have an idea what kind of volunteer work you would like to do, contact volunteer agencies to find out what's available.

2. Paid work experience

A job can help you develop almost all your employability skills. You can also learn what employers expect from young workers in the workplace, learn the language and communication measures of an industry, and make money along the way. You can put all your skills to use in just one working day.

3. Education

Advancing your knowledge is one of the best ways to develop the vital academic skills needed in today's workplace. Education doesn't mean just studying in school! There are many different ways to get an education, such as:

  • Formal schooling
    You can attend continuing education schools to finish your high school education, attend colleges and universities to get a diploma, degree or certificate, or attend technical and vocational schools to get skills in the field you're interested in.

  • Community programs
    There are community programs that help young people gain skills and have fun! There are community agencies that organize events, courses and workshops to help you develop a wide variety of skills.

  • Government programs
    The government is committed to helping young people get work. They offer a range of programs that help you enter the world of work and gain experience and skills.

  • Internships Programs
    Internships give young workers the chance to gain work experience through formal arrangements with employers that perhaps they wouldn't have been able to work for if they had been looking for a job on their own.

Getting Work Experience While in School

Ways to get work experience while in school:

  • Cooperative (co-op) programs
    Some schools have co-op programs that let students work in their field while still going to school. Working for an employer in their industry is considered part of their studies, so students learn skills in school and practice them in the workplace. Co-op students gain connections and knowledge about their industry that helps them find work after graduation.

  • Apprenticeship programs
    If you want to learn a trade like carpentry, auto mechanics or tailoring, apprenticeships teach you the skills by having you do the actual work. Much like co-op programs, students learn skills in school, then practice them in the workplace. Students must have on-the-job training in order to become certified in a trade.