Schools play a key role in preparing young people for the world of work. The Northern Ireland Curriculum places employability skills at its core. Our curriculum and qualifications offer learners the opportunity to develop the skills that employers are looking for.

Every school’s ethos should promote the development of employability skills. Learners develop key employability skills across all Areas of Learning, as well as in separate employability lessons. These skills include:

  • literacy;
  • numeracy;
  • ICT;
  • working independently and collaboratively;
  • developing perseverance, resilience, initiative and flexibility;
  • using critical and creative thinking to solve problems and make decisions;
  • being willing to take calculated risks when appropriate;
  • developing aptitudes, abilities and creativity; and
  • entrepreneurship.

In the Northern Ireland Curriculum, these skills are the:

  • Cross-Curricular Skills of:
    • Communication;
    • Using Mathematics; and
    • Using ICT; and
  • Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities.


See Working with Employers to Support the Curriculum for examples of this collaborative approach.