All posts by Angela Rees

Where can we find LMI?

What kind of LMI is available? 

As we noted in Unit 1, different career and employment stakeholders (that is, practitioners, managers, educators, researchers, policy makers, funders etc.) will want different LMI for different purposes (for example, for use with clients / customers at different stages of their careers; to inform policy; to devise courses and curricula; for use with parents or carers, etc.). We reviewed different types of LMI and their sources (that is, hard LMI and soft LMI, information compared with intelligence). Here, we look in more detail at potential sources of LMI, consider limitations and review how we can make choices between different sources and make sense of the data available. We will also examine some of the myths and misunderstandings that can arise around LMI.

When reviewing different sources of LMI, we need to be  mindful of who collated them (that is, what methods of data collection were used) and for what purpose (for example, to inform government policy, to guide resource allocation, to support individuals in labour market transitions).

Official data sources

1. Official statistical agencies

Official national and regional statistical agencies are a major source of ‘official’ LMI for career and employment practice.

What agencies in your country are viewed as official sources of LMI?

Taking one country example, the UK, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) collects data relating, for example, to the overall numbers employed and unemployed in the population; average pay levels in different occupations; and on the numbers employed in different occupations. Data relating to occupations are collected as part of the Labour Force Survey, a subset of which is included in the European Labour Force Survey, compiled by Eurostat.Some of the data. for instance unemployment rates in different european countries, can be acced through the Eurostat visualisation tools.

Different data sets can be downloaded in spreadsheet format from the ONS web site ( One problem for career and employment professionals is that it is very hard to make sense of large spreadsheets. ONS publish summary reports, but these are more geared to economic reporting for policy purposes than the type of LMI at which that we are looking.

ONS, in common with other statistical agencies, are increasingly providing access to data through tools that help users to visualise the data (that is, through graphs and charts). Although of only limited use for occupations, ONS Neighbourhood Statistics provides a visual overview of local communities and economies based on statistics. NOMIS also offers local labour market profiles, drawn from a range of indicators (see Figure 1, below).

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Figure 1: NOMIS Labour Market Profile

Statistical agencies are not the only source of official data.

  • Organisations responsible for education and training (for example, universities and other education/training  organisations) often publish their own data.
  • Local governments may publish other types of data, for instance on travel-to-work times and distances involved.
  • Additionally, labour market ministries and agencies within each country are likely to collect data about skills   shortages and projections of future employment by occupation.

There may be the problem of accessing these official data because of the structure / form in which they are being published (that is, for particular audiences, like policy makers), with different datasets sometimes linked together. But with the move towards ‘open data’, different agencies and organisations are starting to produce their own data portals, especially on a regional or city level. With fast growing research and development around big data, together with the use of cloud computing, access to graphical interfaces and visualisations is becoming more common.

Image title                          Source: Open Data Institute

National censuses are another rich source of LMI. However, they are usually only undertaken on a periodic basis (in the UK, every 10 years, so 2020 is the year of the next census) and the lead time until the data is published can reduce the value for using in employment or careers practice.

Other organisations, like the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) collect data on a European level (e.g. skills forecasting).

2. Data Tools

Once more from the UK, the Department for Education has funded the development of ‘LMI for All’, an online data portal, which connects and standardises existing sources of high quality, reliable, up-to-date labour market information (LMI) for the purpose of informing careers decisions. This data is made freely available via an Application Programming Interface (API) for use in websites and applications. The portal makes data available and encourages open use by applications and websites that can bring the data to life for a range of audiences.

LMI for All is an open data project, which is supporting the wider UK government agenda to encourage use and re-use of government data sets. Tools built on top of LMI for All provide an easy way of accessing and querying a range of different labour market data. One of the tools, developed by the LMI for All team, is a widget called a Careerometer allowing the comparison of different occupations (see Figure 2, below). You can try out the widget for yourself on the Careerometer page of the LMI for All website.

Image titleFigure 2: Careerometer 

Other data sources

1. Sector organisations

Sector organisations, at national and regional level, often have their own researchers and can provide a rich source of LMI. However, whilst in some countries this LMI may be standardised in other countries, such as the UK, the structures of sector organisations differ and the LMI published is not standardised.

2. Educational and training organisations

Education and training organisations provide data on courses and agencies such as the UK Skills Funding Agency and the Higher Education Statistical Agency may provide access to aggregated data. Issues can include non-standardised data and the lack of aggregated data. Another issue for making sense of LMI is how easy it is to link information about courses to information about occupations.

3. Newspapers

Local newspapers, both printed and online, offer access to local LMI which may be hard to find elsewhere. Often, they carry job advertisements, which depending on national regulations, may not be available through government job portals. Newspapers can also be a useful source of data about future developments in local labour markets, for instance planned new factories and enterprises or skills shortages.

4. Trade unions

Most major trade unions have their own research departments and often publish detailed analysis of economic and employment developments in different sectors.

5. People

People are perhaps the most undervalued source of LMI, especially when it comes to Labour Market Intelligence. In all our research with Public Employment and career guidance and counselling professionals we have always been impressed by how much they know about local labour markets. The challenge is to find mechanisms for sharing that knowledge with others.

What are the limitations?

There are several issues to bear in mind, when using different data sources. Important issues, discussed further in the video below, include:

  • Provenance of data

Keep in mind information on how the data were collected (i.e. methodology) and why it was collected.  This includes the coverage of the data and when it was collected. This will enable an initial assessment as to the likely reliability of the data, and an initial assessment about its robustness.

  • Classifications systems

Data are classified in different ways. In the UK, they are classified both by Standard Occupational Classification and Standard Industrial Classification. Although similar terminology may appear in datasets from other countries, this does not necessarily mean that the classifications systems are the same.

Classification systems may become outdated as industries and occupations change as statisticians are reluctant to change due to ‘breaking’ continuity with data collected earlier.

  • Boundary and geography

Boundaries can change over time. Also, the names of places may not have consistent boundaries between different surveys. A further complication is that sometimes data are provided based on where people live, and sometimes on their place of work.

  • Survey non-response

In any data based on a survey it is important to consider the possibility of any potential bias caused by non-response, together with the impact of such non-response for the robustness and quality of the data.

  • Alternative Information sources

In order to answer a particular question or examine specific topic of interest, there may be a number of different data sources to which a career or employment professional  can turn.  While in some instances the sources will ‘tell the same story’, in other instances the details/ trends may be contradictory.  This may arise because different methodologies were used to collect information, coverage may vary, the concepts may be defined differently, different classification systems may have been used, the time period to which the information refers may be different, or the appropriateness of the analytical techniques used in manipulation of data may vary.  If ‘the stories are different’ it does not necessarily mean that one source is ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’, or that one source is ‘better’ than the other is.  It probably means that further investigation may be necessary to try and find reasons for the differences.

How do you choose between sources of LMI?

Given the range of sources from which LMI is available, career and employment practitioners need to be able to make their own judgements about the criteria they should use to choose between sources. The video above presents checklists of what you should be looking for.

A practitioner guide to the efficacy and quality of LMI

In unit 1 we talked about the difference between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ information, as well as making the distinction between Labour Market information and intelligence.

The table below presents a checklist to guide a practitioner in assessing the efficacy and quality of LMI.

Checklist for choosing between sources of LMI

Who has produced the LMI?

Think about:

  • Whether the source of LMI can be regarded as trustworthy
  • What are the aims and objectives of the organisation producing the LMI?  Is it promotional (putting a positive spin on particular facts) or excluding facts?
  • Whether you have been able to get similar data from more than one source – as this will help you achieve a more balanced and reliable view on of a particular situation
How was the LMI collected?

Think about:

  • How and why data were collected? (i.e. methodology)
  • What is the coverage and degree of detail available?
  • Is the data presented reliability?
  • How valid is the data?
How is the LMI data disaggregated and classified?

Think about the:

  • Relevance and appropriateness of units of measurement
  • Disaggregation of data, particularly geographical boundaries
  • Classification systems applied
  • Comparability of data and consistency over time
  • Analysis in terms of your needs; and
  • Relevance to the area in which you are operating
Is the LMI up-to-date?

Think about:

  • When was the research carried out?
  • What period does the data relate to?
  • When was the LMI published?
  • Potential currency and usefulness of data to current situations
  • Timeliness
  • Frequency of update (and when the next data will be available); and
  • Where there is any more recent research that either supports or contradicts the data?
Is the LMI fit for purpose?

Think about the:

  • Relevancy to service needs
  • Aspirational attributes of LMI
  • Accessibility of language (i.e. jargon-free)
  • Length and presentation of data
  • Balance of data, charts and explanatory text; and
  • Whether the data is presented in different formats (i.e. textual and graphical)


Think of a source of LMI, either from your own practice, or from one of the different sources discussed earlier in this unit.

  • Use the criteria presented in the table above to assess the provenance and value of these data for use in your practice.

Misunderstandings about Labour Market Information

Interpreting Labour Market Information is not straightforward. It is easy to slip into traps when trying to make sense of data. Here, we provide illustrations of common misunderstandings that can arise when interpreting LMI.

Replacement demand

News media frequently report stories about the rosy future for jobs in new and vibrant sectors, like bio-technology or robotics. On the other hand, jobs in areas like mechanical engineering are seen as part of the old industrial technology and in decline. Whilst true at a superficial level, this may conceal reality in terms of future employment prospects.

At one time, engineering, in all braches, employed something like 5.5 million people in the UK, while biotechnology, although a fast-growing business, only employed around 21,000.

To a great extent, future job opportunities depend on replacement demand – the number of people leaving an occupation and thus creating a vacancy. Replacement demand can arise because of the age structure of an industry. Workers in engineering are older than in biotech (which has tended to employ young graduates) and therefore replacement demand is likely to be higher as a percentage of those employed. Of course, retirement is not the only factor influencing replacement demand. Other factors include the attractiveness of the job, the level of pay and the availability of other options.

Skill shortages           

Skill shortages are another topic frequently in the news. The reasons for skill shortages are complex and are not just an issue of shortage of skills, but a mismatch between available jobs and the expertise/training in the labour force.

The UK Employer Skill survey (ESS) indicated that in 2013, some 15% of employers reported that they had employees with skill gaps, equivalent to 1.4 million staff or 5% of the workforce. At the same time, a large proportion of employers felt that they underutilise their workers’ skills, with 4.3 million people (16% of the workforce) over-skilled or over-qualified for their current roles.

Of course, skills shortages may also be just due to lack of opportunity for progression, poor pay and poor working conditions, for instance in the agricultural industry. And in big cities like London, skills shortages may be aggravated by a mismatch between the pay level in an occupation and the cost of living, including housing and transport.

Countries, regions, cities and towns

One problem with much LMI is that it is not disaggregated sufficiently to a local level, mainly due to sample sizes. Yet opportunities in different occupations can vary greatly from region to region and even for different towns within a region. Media is a fast-growing industry in the UK. Yet a close examination at LMI for this sector reveals that it is heavily clustered, with employment concentrated in a few cities such as London, Cardiff, Brighton and Manchester.

Even in an occupation with widespread demand, such as construction, job opportunities can vary greatly between regions, influenced by the vibrancy of local economies and distribution of major construction projects.

Misleading graphics

Graphics are frequently misleading and require careful interpretation. Many of the problems are caused by the spacing and scaling on the X and Y axis. Take the following example from the (now updated) version 1 of LMI for All Careerometer widget.

Misleading visualisations

Figure 3: Misleading visualisations.

On first appearance employment for mechanical engineers is increasing steadily, while employment for vehicle techncians is falling fast. On closer observation, the starting point for number employed on the left hand axis are greatly different and despite these trends there will still be demand for nearly double the number of vehicle techncians than mechanical engineers in 2023.

Beware of averages

LMI frequently relies on average numbers, for instance, when looking at typical pay rates in an occupation. But there are different measures of ‘average’ including mean and median. Frequently, what is referred to as average is the mean, the sum of a collection of numbers divided by the number of numbers in the collection. In contrast, the median is the value separating the higher half of a data sample, from the lower half. In simple terms, it may be thought of as the “middle” value of a data set. For example, in the data set {1, 3, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9}, the median is 6, the fourth number in the sample.

The basic advantage of the median in describing data compared to the mean is that it is not skewed so much by extremely large or small values, and so it may give a better idea of a ‘typical’ value. For example, in understanding statistics like pay in a skilled job, which varies greatly, a mean may be skewed by a small number of extremely high or low values. Median income, for example, may be a better way to suggest what a ‘typical’ income is. Where available, decile values which reveal the distribution in a statically set, can provide a much greater understanding.

Once more looking at pay, wage rates in the UK vary greatly between different regions.


More resources:

Gender pay gap: Edition of the BBC radio programme, More or Less, on the Gender Pay Gap.

Detailed checklist (download hand out 1) which can be used as a self-assessment tool to gauge compliance and identify areas for development with LMI.

Detailed hand out (download handout 2) on issues with LMI data.

Why is LMI important?

Where can we find LMI?

Using LMI in Practice


Why is LMI important?

What do we need to know about Labour Market Information (LMI)?


Think about your skills and confidence in:

  • Explaining the importance of LMI in your practice.
  • Outlining current changes in the labour market and future trends.
  • Explaining the theory underpinning information giving and the implications for practice.
  • Finding, assessing and using sources of LMI.
  • Undertaking employer visits and/or speaking with employers or education/training providers.
  • Delivering LMI learning (as part of group work and/or careers education).
  • Researching and creating bespoke, individualised LMI for clients, colleagues, parents and/or carers, etc.
  • Understanding issues of equality and diversity, as illustrated by LMI.
  • Keeping skills of information giving and knowledge about LMI up-to-date.


What is Labour Market Information?

Labour Market Information (LMI) takes several different forms:

  • ‘Hard LMI’ typically refers to data gathered by labour market and employer surveys, which are conducted on a geographic and / or sector basis to provide a statistical picture of current and likely future employment and     skills trends.
  • ‘Soft LMI’, in contrast, refers to information from a range of sources, like meetings with employers, feedback   from customers and media screening.

Both these types of information help career and employment professionals work effectively with their clients / customers. However, it has most impact when turned into labour market intelligence, through analysis and interpretation. This is what most career and employment professionals are using.

Video: What is LMI?  Watch this short video presentation (which explores different forms of labour market data) 

Why is Labour Market Information important?

LMI is pivotal to effective practice, since high quality, impartial, current, expert knowledge about the labour market distinguishes career and employment guidance and counselling from other types of helping.

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A career or employent practitioner relies on LMI every time they interact with someone seeking help. Clients / customers ask you, for example, about course choice, self employment, how much money they could they earn in a particular job, where the local job vacancies are located, what will the ‘hot jobs’ be when they leave education? None of these questions or issues could begin to be addressed without LMI. LMI demystifies the world of work and helps individuals realise their goals.

So, LMI provides the knowledge & understanding of how the labour market functions and is crucial for ‘making sense’ of changing economic circumstances, including reflecting upon what the future holds.

Who uses Labour Market information and what for?

LMI is used by a wide range of people. Most importantly, clients/ customers need access to high quality, robust, current LMI to help them navigate an increasingly complex labour market, making sense of the maze of opportunities available.

  • Clients / customers: LMI helps them to consider routes into and ways around and through the world of work, by raising aspirations, challenging stereotypes, increasing job knowledge and widening job knowledge. When applied to an individual’s circumstances it is essential for making a good career decision.
  • Career and employment professionals: LMI is essential for an understanding of the dynamic interplay between ‘supply’ and ‘demand’ in fast-changing local, regional, national and international labour markets. It also supports them in their task of supporting their clients / customers to develop and enhance career decision-making skills so that they can use the available LMI themselves to weigh-up their potential options as their career progresses.
  • Policy makers and planners: need LMI to develop strategies for the labour markets of the future.
  • Course designers and curriculum developers: use LMI to identify what  knowledge, and which skills, will be needed in the future. This includes where there is growth or decline in the number of job opportunities, the demographic profile of different parts of the labour market, the demographic profile of regional labour markets, the availability of ‘hard to fill’ vacancies, and competition for jobs in different areas and sectors, as well as the impact this has on wage and skill levels.
  • Researchers: use LMI in research and understanding economic and social development at national, regional and local levels.


Think about how you have used LMI in the past, or might do in the future:

  • What  was your main purpose for using it?
  • What sort of  LMI did you look for?
  • Was it easy to find?

Different types LMI and their sources

The following diagram attempts to capture some of the complexity related to the ways that employment and career guidance counselling practitioners will require access to different types and sources of LMI, sometimes overlapping, depending on their immediate requirements.

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  • LMI to which practitioners give clients direct access (e.g. descriptions of jobs and training / education requirements)
  • LMI informing their practice (e.g. LMI relating to the equality of employment opportunities in different sectors / jobs)
  • LMI interpreted by the practitioner for the client (that is: What does this particular LMI mean for the particular circumstances of the client / customer? For example, if a client / customer wants to be a doctor, have they considered the length and / or cost of training required?)

Career and employment professionals typically feel extremely pressurised, with limited time to research information.  Consequently, LMI providers need to be aware that it must be easily accessible and available in a simple form and in accordance with the underpinning principles specified below:

  • Adherence to the core ethos of equality of opportunity for all and compliance with related legislation.
  • Commitment to impartiality, so that all LMI produced for the guidance/counselling process does not promote one sector, in a competitive manner, as superior to any other, or mask an economic decline.
  • Accessibility to potential users, addressing physical limitations as well as the ability to understand particular levels of complexity.
  • That the information will be robust, ensuring reliability, comprehensiveness and currency. 
  • That it should be relevant to the needs of practitioners in their guidance work with clients /customers.


Reflective Activity: 

Think about your use of LMI in practice:

  • Focusing on your most common source of LMI, how confident are you that it  complies to the underpinning principle above?


Further Resources: GMT interview with Jenny Bimrose: Labour market information: pivotal in careers advice and guidance

Why is LMI important?

Where can we find LMI?

Using LMI in Practice


Digital Agenda – Reflections and further resources


It’s now time to try to make sense of all the learning you have embarked upon during this module.

You could use a personal blog or just grab some paper, it may be helpful to begin by writing down:

3 things you learned or thought about as part of your studies in this module.

  • What worked best for you and why?

Now think about and write down answers to some or all of the following:

  • How might the new digital era affect you now and in the future?
  • What steps do you need to take to improve your digital literacy?
  • How might digitalisation affect your job or personal circumstances?
  • What issues have arisen that you feel you want to consider in more detail?

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Here is a collection of all of the references we have used in this module

Bimrose, J., Brown, A., Barnes, S-A., & Hughes, D. (2011) The role of career adaptability in skills supply. Wath-upon-Dearne:

BIS & DCMS (2016) Digital Skills for the UK Economy: A report by ECORYS UK, London: Department for Innovation and Department for Culture, Media and Sports, January 2016

COM (2010) 2020 final, Retrieved from:

Done, J. & Mulvey, R. (2016) Brilliant Graduate Career Handbook. 3rd edition. Harlow: Pearson available from Amazon

European Commission (2014). Digital Agenda for Europe: Rebooting Europe’s Economy. Brussels. Retrieved from:

Europe 2020 (2010). Communication from the Commission – EUROPE 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, Brussels, 3.3.2010

Hunter, A. J. (2001). A cross-cultural comparison of resilience in adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 16, 172-179

Lengelle, R., Van der Heijden, B and Meijers, F. (In Press) The Foundations of Career Resilience,

Kettunen, J., Sampson, J. P., & Vuorinen, R. (2015). Career practitioners’ conceptions of competency for social media in career services. British Journal of Guidance & Counseling, 43, 43-56.

Lengelle, R., Van der Heijden, B and Meijers, F. (In Press) The Foundations of Career Resilience, Springer Books.

Lyons, S. T., Schweitzer, L. and Ng, E. S. W. (2015) ‘Resilience in the modern career’, Career Development International, 20(4), 363–383.

Metzl, E. S. and Morrell, M. A. (2008). ‘The role of creativity in models of resilience: Theoretical exploration and practical applications’, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 3(3), 303–318.

OCED (2015). Data-Driven Innovation: Big data for Growth and Well Being, Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from:

OECD (2016) Skills for a Digital World: 2016 Ministerial Meeting On The Digital Economy – Background Report, Mexico: Organisation of Cooperation and Economic Development, 21 -23rd June 2016. Retrieved from:

Savickas, M. L., Nota, L., Rossier, J., Dauwalder, J. P., Duarte, M. E., Guichard, J. and Van Vianen, A. E. (2009) ‘Life designing: A paradigm for career construction in the 21st century’, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 75(3), 239–250; and Savickas, M. L. (2011) ‘Career Counseling’, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Springer Books. 41 Metzl, E. S. and Morrell, M. A. (2008). ‘The role of creativity in models of resilience: Theoretical exploration and practical applications’, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 3(3), 303–318.

The Guardian (2014) The truth about smart cities: ‘in the end, they will destroy democracy’ – 17th December 2014. Retrieved from:

UKCES (2014) The Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030:  Evidence Report 84, Sheffield: Wath-upon-Dearne, February 2014

The Guardian (2014) The truth about smart cities: ‘in the end, they will destroy democracy’ – 17th December 2014. Retrieved from:

Other resources you may find useful

Eurofound report on the future of work –

Hughes, D., Bimrose, J., Brown, C., Goddard, T., and Kettunen, J. (2013). E-Careers Services Symposium: expanding the limits of design, technology, and practice. CDDA Communiqué, Sydney: Career Development Association of Australia.

International Symposium for Career development and Public Policy – Country Reports 2017. Visit:  and – See: The role of emerging technologies (2015)

Hughes, D. (2015) London Ambitions: Shaping a careers offer for all young Londoners, London Enterprise Panel & London Councils. This includes a recommendation for all young Londoners to have a digital portfolio. Available online:

International Perspectives

The Future of Work and Skills

Digital Jobs, Digital Workforce

Digital Jobseekers, Digital Employers

Reflection and Further Resources

Digital jobseekers, digital employers

Modern day jobseekers will find it increasingly difficult to find employment without having a digital presence and using digital skills to search for and apply for jobs online. Similarly, employers need the digital skills for succesful online recruitment. The ability to interact in these online environments is often referred to as digital literacy. Having a presence in an online environment gives you a digital identity. This unit looks at digital literacy, skills, identity and jobsearches.

Digital Literacy

Digital Literacy is a popular topic for educators with many national curricula around Europe being re-written to encompass digital skills but what does it mean for you and for clients searching for jobs?

Jisc defines it as the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning and working in a digital society. (Follow the link and select ‘guide to developing digital literacies’ for further reading)

The report by ECORYS (2016) encompases digital literacy as a digital skill (you have already seen this document in a previous unit);

Over recent years, the definition of digital skills has broadened out to the concept of digital literacy encompassing multiple types of skill-sets such as basic, operational, cognitive, social and attitudinal. 

The policy paper shows a useful map of digital skills shown below but you can find a bigger version on page 49 of the document. (Click on the image to be redirected to the document then scroll to page 49)

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Thinking back to the last 2 units and the diagram above (also on page 49 of Digital Skills for the UK Economy ) answer the following;

  • What digital skills do you need to be able to do your job effectively? 
  • What skills might others need?
  • How do you learn these skills?
  • How will others learn them?

Activity – You might like to try this digital literacy skills test with a certificate of achievement at the end.

Digital Identity

Everyone who uses the internet leaves a trail of information about themselves, even if you do not create or share content you are still leaving footprints in the form of search history and cookies. Digital marketers use this information to target you with tailored adverts and even tailored search results.

Search for yourself on-line, what do you find? What do you want people to find when they search for you? You might want the answer to be nothing, but equally you might want to present your professional skills, qualifications and achievements.

In some occupational areas having a multi-platform, online presence can be very important. For example, if you were an employer looking for a computer games developer or a marketing professional or a researcher you would expect the successful candidate to show up on a variety of social media. If they didn’t, then you might question their enthusiasm or abilities. In other jobs it is far less important. A jobseeker would need to consider carefully whether a future employer would expect them to be an active social media user, and if so, how to construct an on-line presence that demonstrates they have the skills an employer is looking for before they ever get to the interview stage.


Consider the following digital items you may have.  Arrange them on a continuum from ‘very private’ to ‘very public’.


Complete some of these Digital Identity activities from EmployID.

Digital Jobsearch

Jobseekers increasingly need to be tech savvy not just in searching for but also in applying for jobs.  A recent advert for a bar-tender vacancy called for applicants to upload a short introductory video about themselves. It is clear that digital literacy is fast becoming an essential skill in a competitive market.


Read this handy guide from Dr Judith Done and Professor Rachel Mulvey.

Let’s try to bring together your thoughts and ideas

  • What digital skills do you and others need to be able to do your job effectively?
  • How do you learn these skills?
  • How do you present yourself online?
  • How does online presence impact on a person’s ability to find a job?
  • How does job search and recruitment differ around the world?


You can find more in the book;

Done, J. & Mulvey, R. (2016) Brilliant Graduate Career Handbook. 3rd edition. Harlow: Pearson available from Amazon

International Perspectives

The Future of Work and Skills

Digital Jobs, Digital Workforce

Digital Jobseekers, Digital Employers

Reflection and Further Resources

Digital jobs, digital workforce.

In this unit we look at how the new digital era might affect the types of job available and how new technologies might mean some jobs become automated. Will the rise of the machines affect you and how can you future-proof yourself?


Jobs of the Future

Listen to ‘Futurist’ Mark Pesce talk about how work will be different in future (55 seconds in) and the suggestions of possible future jobs.


Think of some possible job titles for the future, here are some ideas to get you started.

      • Digital architect – Designs a selection of virtual buildings for advertisers and retailers to market their products;
      • Body part maker – Creates living body parts for athletes and soldiers;
      • Nano-medic – Creates very small implants for health monitoring and self-medication;
      • Vertical farmer – Farms crops upwards rather than across flat fields to save space;
      • Climate controller – Manages and modifies weather patterns;
      • Avatar manager – Designs and manages holograms of virtual people;
      • Memory augmentation surgeon – Helps preserve and improve memory in an ageing population;
      • Child designer – Designs offspring that fit parental requirements;
      • Omnipotence delimiter – Reins in our belief that anything is possible and we are all-powerful;
      • Personal medical apothecary – Provides a bespoke range alternative therapies;
      • Haptic programmer – Develops technology around the science of touch, such as gloves that make your hand feel warm, or wrapped in velvet.

In the video above, Mark Peske says that if a job can be automated it will be. Do you agree?

Have a look at these fun quizzes designed to help you think about yourself and digital transformation.

Thinking about future technologies – Will a robot take your job? Follow the link then type a job into the search bar, will the job become automated in the future?

There’s another similar quiz here if you’d like to double check!

Now we will look at ways to future-proof yourself. If your job is at risk of becoming automated you will need to think about career adaptability and resilience in the face of change.

Try this reflective quiz

Thinking about yourself – What animal are you?


Take a few minutes to reflect on what steps you can take to future-proof yourself, then watch the video about resilience.

If you’d like to find out more, there is a substantial body of literature on ‘career adaptability’ (Savickas et al., 2009; Savickas, 2011) as discussed in Week 1.

Building on this and reflecting on career resilience (Lyons, Schweitzer, and Ng,2015). we can think of resilience as ‘the process of bending and rebounding to overcome adversity’ (Hunter, 2001, p. 172) as noted by Lengelle et al. (2016).

This is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that varies according to contexts, internal variables, and external changes. Resilience is often viewed as a positive outcome ‘which is defined by the presence of positive mental health (such as positive self-concept and self-esteem, academic achievement, success at age-appropriate developmental tasks, etc.) and the absence of psychopathology, despite exposure to risk’ (Metzl and Morrell, 2008). This concept is also interpreted as a dynamic learning process dependent upon interactions between individual and contextual variables that evolve over time. In this sense, resilience refers to the capability to ‘bounce back’ from negative emotional experiences associated with adversity.

So what steps can you take?

You could employ some of the techniques discussed in last week’s lesson on Coaching and Peer coaching to help with problem solving and finding creative solutions.

You can look at your digital skills – see the next unit for ideas.




Bimrose, J., Brown, A., Barnes, S-A., & Hughes, D. (2011) The role of career adaptability in skills supply. Wath-upon-Dearne: UKCES (UK Commission for Employment and Skills). (UKCES Evidence Report).

Hunter, A. J. (2001). A cross-cultural comparison of resilience in adolescents. Journal of Pediatric
, 16, 172-179  Lengelle, R., Van der Heijden, B and Meijers, F. (In Press) The Foundations of Career Resilience,

Kettunen, J., Sampson, J. P., & Vuorinen, R. (2015). Career practitioners’ conceptions of competency for social media in career services. British Journal of Guidance & Counseling, 43, 43-56. Retrieved from doi:10.1080/03069885.2014.939945

Lengelle, R., Van der Heijden, B and Meijers, F. (In Press) The Foundations of Career Resilience, Springer Books.

Lyons, S. T., Schweitzer, L. and Ng, E. S. W. (2015) ‘Resilience in the modern career’, Career Development International, 20(4), 363–383.

Metzl, E. S. and Morrell, M. A. (2008). ‘The role of creativity in models of resilience: Theoretical exploration and practical applications’, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 3(3), 303–318.

Savickas, M. L., Nota, L., Rossier, J., Dauwalder, J. P., Duarte, M. E., Guichard, J. and Van Vianen, A. E. (2009) ‘Life designing: A paradigm for career construction in the 21st century’, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 75(3), 239–250; and Savickas, M. L. (2011) ‘Career Counseling’, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Springer Books. 41 Metzl, E. S. and Morrell, M. A. (2008). ‘The role of creativity in models of resilience: Theoretical exploration and practical applications’, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 3(3), 303–318.

International Perspectives

The Future of Work and Skills

Digital Jobs, Digital Workforce

Digital Jobseekers, Digital Employers

Reflection and Further Resources

The Future of Work and Skills

Skills for a Digital World

A report published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris (OECD, 2016) provides some evidence on the effects of digital technologies on the demand for skills in differing economies. It discusses key policies for skills development adapted to a 21st century digital economy. The authors argue workers across an increasing range of occupations need higher level ICT skills to use new technologies effectively. More fundamentally, the diffusion of digital technologies is changing how work is done, raising demand for complementary skills such as information processing, self-direction, problem solving and communication. You can read the full report here.

Want to delve into some country specific examples? See: Norway (p.18); Spain (p.21); Ireland (p.22); The Netherlands (p.25); Korea and Ireland – insights to SMEs and digital innovations (p.26); Canada (p.29); Italy (p.37); and the UK Open Source Data (p.44)

This poses both challenges and opportunities for greater responsiveness of governments to national skills shortages and skills gaps. For example, here is a UK government policy paper ‘Industrial Strategy’ (January, 2017) that highlights:

  “Within the next two decades, 90 per cent of jobs will require some digital proficiency, yet 23 per cent of adults lack basic     digital skills. This is a barrier topeople fulfilling their potential and to a more productive workforce.” (House of Commons,     London: Science and Technology Committee (2016) ‘Digital Skills Crisis’)

In response, Tinder Foundation CEO Helen Milner indicates that a wider proliferation of digital skills would release a surprising amount of value into the economy. “Some of our research showed that every £1 invested in growing people’s basic digital skills put £10 back into the economy. But it’s not enough to save money – you’ve got to show how you can make money out of it as well.” (NewStatesman, October 2016) –

Another report, the DCMS Digital Skills Report has the following to say about digital skills;

“The rapid rate of technological innovations requires the current workforce to continually update their skills to equip them for emerging roles in the sectors in which they work,which have been influenced by new technologies. In the context of social inclusion, the application of digital skills offers wider opportunities for society and democracy.”

“Digital skills range from those that enable basic social interaction (communication skills, literacy,smartphone usage etc) through to skills that enable interaction with systems and services (for example, e-commerce and e-government services) through to skills that match the needs of employers and which maximise employability.

We will look at the DCMS Digital Skills Report again in the next unit.


Reflect – What digital skills do you use every day? Are there any you would like to improve?

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Image Pixabay cc0

Data Driven Innovation

Today, the generation and use of huge volumes of data are redefining our “intelligence” capacity and our social and economic landscapes. This is spurring new industries, processes and products and creating significant competitive advantages. In this sense, according to the Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD, 2015),  data-driven innovation (DDI) has become a key pillar of 21st-century growth, with the potential to significantly enhance productivity, resource efficiency, economic competitiveness, and social well-being.

Greater access to, and use of, data create a wide array of personal impacts and policy challenges, ranging from privacy and consumer protection to open access issues and measurement concerns, across public and private health, legal and science domains.


The UK Commission for Employment & Skills (2014) identified 10 key disruptions:

1. Reverse migration

2. Changing values of employees’, where workers select employers on the basis of alignment with their own values

3. Zero-hour contracts, and similar flexible arrangements, become the norm

4. Anytime, anywhere skills delivery, enabled by virtual and peer-to-peer learning

5. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, penetration of AI and automation into highly skilled occupations

6. De-globalisation

7. Geographically alternative centres of excellence, a nations leading position in key economic sectors is lost to high growth economies

8. Disrupted Internet developments due to cyber crime

9. Resource conflicts or climate disasters threaten supply

10. Partial fragmentation of the EU.

Think about differing scenarios now and in the future, have a look at these four possibilities fromThe Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030 (page xiv):

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Let’s try to bring together your thoughts and ideas

  • Reflect – What digital skills do you use every day? Are there any you would like to improve?
  • How do you think access to increasing amounts of data will impact the future of work and skills?
  • Consider the key disruptive factors likely to impact on economic, educational and/or social outcomes in your town, region or country.
  • Think about differing scenarios now and in the future: What are your thoughts and experiences of going digital?
  • Are there other likely scenarios? If yes, what might these include?


Remember you can interact with us via Twitter using #EmployIDMOOC

International Perspectives

The Future of Work and Skills

Digital Jobs, Digital Workforce

Digital Jobseekers, Digital Employers

Reflection and Further Resources

International Perspectives: A New Digital Era

The Next Industrial Revolution

Billions of people are connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, the possibilities are huge. These possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing. The digital age has been referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.

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Infographics by Angela Rees cc4.0 


This video originally shared by World Economic Forum

Digital Economy

Digital technologies are central to international and European economic growth. For example, while 250 million Europeans use the internet daily, 18% have never used it at all. The digital economy is growing 7 times as fast as the rest of the economy. Much of this growth has been fuelled by broadband internet.

Recent European Union trends (DESI, 2016) show country variations when it come to  (i) connectivity; (ii) human capital; (iii) use of internet; (iv) integration of digital technologies; and (v) digital public services.

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For example, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands have the most advanced digital economies in the EU followed by Luxembourg, Belgium, the UK and Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy have the lowest scores in the DESI. In 2016, all Member States improved on the DESI. Slovakia and Slovenia progressed the most (more than 0.04 as opposed to an EU average of 0.028). On the other hand, there was low increase in Portugal, Latvia and Germany (below 0.02). See here to download country reports, studies and open datasets:

“Digital technologies are going into every aspect of life. All they require is access to high-speed internet. We need to be connected, our economy needs it, people need it.” Jean-Claude Juncker, State of the Union Address European Parliament, 14 September 2016.

You may also find this presentation on the possibility of a digital single market for Europe puts forward some interesting ideas.

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Today’s high-speed broadband networks are having just as great an impact as electricity and transport networks a century ago. They are also paving the way for innovative services such as eHealth and Social Care Strategies, for example in Scotland: A draft vision for the new Strategy 2017-2022.

Click on the link in each part below to view case study examples that show how the eHealth and Socal Care Strategies’ digital vision will be realised.

As a citizen of Scotland:

I have access to the digital information, tools and services I need to help maintain and improve my health and wellbeing.

I expect my health and social care information to be captured electronically, integrated and shared securely

to assist service staff and carers that need to see it, and

digital technology and data will be used appropriately and innovatively to help plan and improve services,

enable research and economic development

and ultimately improve outcomes for everyone.

Jobs and Growth in Europe

Europe 2020 is the European Union’s ten-year jobs and growth strategy. It was launched seven years ago (2010) to create the conditions for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Five headline targets were agreed by the European Commission for the EU to achieve by the end of 2020. These cover employment; research and development; climate/energy; education; social inclusion and poverty reduction. You can find out more about the strategy here and watch this short intro video 

International Perspectives

The Future of Work and Skills

Digital Jobs, Digital Workforce

Digital Jobseekers, Digital Employers

Reflection and Further Resources



EmployID peer coaching practice


In this unit you will learn more about what is necessary to form a peer coaching group. Without further training you will probably not be ready to practice the entire peer coaching process just yet, but you could practice some of the techniques in a group. (You can learn more about the whole peer coaching process in our 3 week course here)

What do you need for peer coaching with your colleagues?


  • You have participated in EmployID peer coaching online course OR you are a professional/practicing coach and informed yourself about the peer coaching process.

  • You are motivated to facilitate others learning and you are also interested in bringing in your own challenges.

  • You accepted the code of ethics for your peer coaching group OR actively created this code of ethics and then accepted it.

  • You are okay with organizing the first sessions (e.g., meeting schedule, facilities, moderation of the group).

How do you start a peer coaching group?

There are different possibilities to start a peer coaching group:

  • Ask other participants of a peer coaching training (e.g. peer coaching online course of EmployID) if they want to participate in your peer coaching group.

    • Either ask participants directly (personally) or

    • write a post in the comments, that you are searching for members for your peer coaching group

  • Ask other peer coaching interested colleagues to take the next peer coaching course of EmployID or use the open one to start with you a peer coaching group.

Testimonials of peer coaching training

Comments on Public Employment practicioners from Public Employment Services in Slovenia and Croatia on EmployID peer coaching and the peer coaching training.

Practice EmployID Peer Coaching  process with our self-coaching approach

Now this introduction on how to start a peer coaching group was very theoretical and you need clearly some more input on that. And you might not be able to join a peer coaching course yourself… so, to ensure that you benefit from the peer coaching process without a training course we have provided you a self-coaching process that is conceptualized to fit the peer coaching process. You can do this on your own whenever you need it.

Phase 1: Problem & situation

  • Which concern would you like to work on?

  • How would you describe the actual problem curtly and bold?

  • What have you tried so far to solve the problem?

  • How far are other persons concerned by the problem situation?

  • Can you feel the problem physically or spring suitable pictures or metaphors to your mind?

  • If your problem is solved optimal, how will you recognize it?

Phase 2: Vision, resources

  • Imagine you’re on holiday and your problem has been solved overnight. What happened to solve your problem?

    • How do you feel now that the problem is solved?

    • Can you feel anything physically after the problem is solved? What do you feel?

    • Which thoughts are running through your mind now that the problem is solved?

Phase 3: Collecting resources

  • What helped you in past resembling situations?

  • Search for resources that could help you in the current situation.

    • Think of internal resources such as strengths, values, capabilities.

    • Think of external resources such as other persons, communities, tools.

Phase 4: Setting goals

  • How will you recognize in your actual situation that the problem has been solved?

  • What’s different?

  • Which goals can you derive for your concern?

    • To which part of my concern refers the goal?

    • How can I notice that I have reached my goal?

    • How attractive and challenging is reaching the goal for myself?

    • How realistic is my goal?

    • Till when is the goal to be reached?

Phase 5: Solution & next steps

  • How can you put your goal/ goals into practice?

  • What are possible steps?

Now, you can start your Self-Coaching right away!

One step further: Receiving feedback!

If you want you can improve your Self-Coaching process by getting others involved in giving you feedback just like in the peer coaching.

In Phase 3 ask others (collagues, friends, family) about what they think are your internal and external resources. You can also take the resource wheel as help.

After clarifying the goal, you can ask others (colleagues, friends, family, even strangers) on their ideas for solutions and next steps.

EmployID Peer Coaching Online Tool

As an additional information we want to present to you the peer coaching online tool in short.

To support peer coaching done over distance we developed an online-tool which is available in a beta version.

Interest in further details on concept, training and tool? Contact us!

Are you interested in having a peer coaching practice implemented in your organization?

Do you want detailed information on peer coaching training or the EmployID peer coaching tool and how we implement peer coaching into Public Employment Services so far?

Then contact your tutor Carmen by emailing

We also have a handbook on concept, training and tool implementation.


EmployID Academy (2016). Open Peer Coaching Online Course. URL:

What is Coaching?

EmployID Peer Coaching

Core Skills



EmployID peer coaching core skills

Core peer coaching skills

There are five EmployID peer coaching core skills:

  • peer coaching process knowledge & transfer

  • active listening

  • emotional awareness

  • powerful questioning

  • growth mindset

In this unit we will explain shortly what they are. Since emotional awareness is a skill that is very good to use during stressful times, we will go into more detail here. If you are also interested in a more detailed look at the other skills check out our EmployID Academy peer coaching open online course.

Peer coaching process knowledge & transfer

For this you need to learn the peer coaching process and practice it. You can either practice it with colleagues directly in peer coaching or you can use our self-coaching approach to practice the process. This approach will be shown in unit five.

Active listening

Active listening is important for building trust between coach and client. It is a way for the coach to show the client that he is completely with him and his concerns. Understanding listening enables the client to talk open about stressing, burdensome, unpleasant and even embarrassing situations. Individuals tend to maintain along their self-picture no matter what. So every attempt to convince them differently is threatening, since their whole identity is built upon their beliefs of their self-picture. This means that even a well-meant praise can be uncomfortable and displeasing for someone who believes he is not worthy of the praise and is not good in what he was praised for. This keeps the person from changing. With active listening the attempt is made to change indirectly. The person is able to explore for himself, see for himself and make his own decisions to become in a position to change.

Emotional Awareness

One of the indirect results of coaching is the emotional self-awareness and it is activated by the coach through questions focusing on feelings, affects, etc. But this is not only a result from coaching for the client, but also an ability the coach needs.

For the client it means to be aware of one’s feelings and attitude it is the knowledge or perception of the self. Knowing about your current emotional state and what influences it, is the first step to changing this state.

Powerful Questioning

Sometimes they are also called reflective questions, open questions, coaching questions etc. Powerful Questioning is a method on using questions that support the client to reflect and think more deeply about what for example the situation the problem occurs really is about. For example the question “How would your supervisor feel about this?” This forces the client to take in another perspective and role, which can change the current view of the problem and lead to ideas for solving it.

Growth mindset

The concept of Growth Mindset was developed by American psychologist Carol Dweck. It is a combination of many concepts that lead to be growth mindset oriented.

A Growth Mindset…

… embraces challenges,

… persists across obstacles,

…views effort as a path of mastery,

…learns from criticism,

…gets inspired from success of others,

… believes that necessary skills and knowledge to be talented can be developed,

…believes that intelligence can be increased by learning,

…knows that it sometimes requires tenacity and persistence and

…knows when to best seek for assistance.

(Dweck, 2007; Richard, 2007)

Emotional Awareness in EmployID

In this video there is a detailed description on emotional awareness explained by Pablo:

Dealing with emotional issues

Why people get angry or upset? From your perspective, some people may be angry and appear to be difficult. Why do you think this is? The reasons could include be any of the following:

  • They feel unfairly treated.

  • They feel you are being unreasonable.

  • They are not getting what they want.

  • They perceive a lack of respect.

  • They feel devalued.

  • They feel little control over their situation.

From a psychological view, hostile behaviour is more complex than you would imagine. It is not just about getting what the person wants, believe it or not, but about controlling the situation. In many cases there is no conscious purpose at all – the person is emotional and operating on ‘auto-pilot’. It is vitally important that you manage the interview. This means:

  • acknowledging the emotional response,

  • being empathetic,

  • remaining confident,

  • being clear about what the person should do; and

  • not becoming confused.

Effective behaviour is assertive, firm, confident, but especially, aiming to be collaborative.

Note: empathy is about understanding how the other person feels in the situation, not how you would feel. It means trying to understand how and why a person feels the way they do, in other words, putting yourself in their shoes. Demonstrating empathy with someone’s feelings doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with them, only that you can understand why they feel that way.

Tips for Effective Behaviour with difficult persons

Usually there are no tips in coaching, but in EmployID peer coaching there is a step in the process where advisors can bring in their experience and their solutions. These could be solutions to handle difficult persons for example at your work or in a training or even during a peer coaching process, when a participant does not stick to the decided rules and ethical guidelines. (Originally those tips were used in a closed MOOC for work coaches to support them with difficult conversations with clients/ claimants.)

  • Persistence (Broken record)

Be persistent and stick to the point of the discussion, to keep saying what you want to say, and not to pursue to side (deflecting) issues brought up by the person (protesting). Essentially, this is the situation, these are the rules, and we need to agree what we need to do. Repetition cancels out diversions and helps the person to focus on what needs to be done.

  • Responding to criticism

Do not respond to the person’s criticism with denial, defensiveness or argument. Instead break the manipulative cycle by actively promoting more information and then stating you will (or have) consider(ed) this information, then try and progress the converstation.

  • ‘Going over your head’

The person may try to go over your head by asking to speak to the manager. This is usually meant to intimidate. Inviting the person to speak to him/her comes across as confident. For example, ‘I know you’re unhappy about xxxx. If you believe that it’s best to talk to my manager, I can certainly help with that. Do you want me to help you arrange to talk to him/her?’ Then try to progress the conversation.

  • Topic grab to stop a tirade

Use something the person has said that you can relate to. For example, ‘I’ve got two kids too…” – a neutral comment, but the person will be interested as it’s based on what they said earlier.

  • Do not give cause for complaint

If you sigh, roll your eyes, show frustration or impatience, mutter, or do similar things, or slam the phone down, then you are giving cause for complaint. Showing ‘positive’ body language is important.

  • the person’s face-saving

If the person has made a mistake or does not understand the requirements, do not challenge (for example, ‘You’ve broken the rules or ‘you’ve done this or that’, or ‘you fail to understand’). Instead say ‘Let me talk you through this’.

  • the person clearly wrong and stubborn

For example the person may say ‘You can’t do that!’ Do not respond by saying ‘Oh yes we can!’ Allow face saving outputs for the person. Avoid embarrassing or humiliating the person. Your objective is not to win the argument, but to deal effectively and professionally with the person, whether they are right or wrong.

All these tips do not only help you to calm down and reassure another person, but they are also good to keep calm yourself.

In dealing with difficult people it is also very important to be mindful of our own thoughts and emotions. People who are hostile and not acting very nice to us also trigger thoughts and feelings in ourselves that we have difficulties to handle. In dealing with that, we do not only have to deal with other people’s emotions, but also, our own.

  • be mindful with yourself

Be mindful of your own feeling that you feel in that situation, to accept it, and not acting upon it – if it triggers you to act unprofessionally or any other way. After acknowledging what you feel, you can accept it, and focus on client/customer and deal with your emotions later.

  • have empathy for others

Try to understand others anger and behaviour is hard to deal with. Thinking what is behind that behaviour could help you to understand the person and act in a positive and constructive way to another person.


Now try to change your emotional state:

Think of a current challenge you have and try show it by your mimic, your gestic and your posture and remain there for a few seconds (yes, right in front of you computer :-)).  Afterwards please think of a very happy event in your life and show it likewise. Reflect on how it feels and what you think by taking in the different states!

  • What was different?

  • Was is useful to you?

  • What did you feel?

Dealing with difficult people:

  • Think about characteristics that they find annoying in people or have difficulties with.

  • Then name behaviours that are helpful for dealing with those people


Dweck, Carol S. (2007). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books.

EmployID Academy (2016). Open Peer Coaching Online Course. URL:

Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick (2016). EmployID – Changing World of Work [closed MOOC on FutureLearn].

Richard, Michael Graham (2007). Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset: Which One Are You? Retrieved from:

What is Coaching?

EmployID Peer Coaching

Core Skills