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Evan Davis on... skills against attitude

Updated Friday, 17th July 2009

The Bottom Line presenter Evan Davis explains why there's a need to train students' approach to work, in order to win the battle of skills against attitude.

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Copyright The Open University

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It’s a very interesting thing but when you talk to employers about what kind of employees they like, they always put much more emphasis on the attitude of the employees then they do on the skills, the sort of certificates or qualifications that the employees have.

Now obviously you can’t push this too far. If I was applying for a job as a violin player with the London Philharmonic Orchestra my attitude wouldn’t probably count for very much relative to my aptitude of playing the violin.

And the very notion of attitude or a good attitude is a nebulous one, we have to accept that. Employers normally know what a good attitude is when they see it though, and they normally think of it as someone who’s willing and proactive. But for my money, what this means is that if you want to go into the business of teaching young people, training them, giving them skills, the great uninvented discovery out there is how on earth you teach young people to have a good attitude. That’s the mystery.

And that’s my opinion, but you can join the debate on the Open University.

 

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