Understanding Commercial Ability

Organisational Know-How

Understanding of the working world and how organisations work.

What is it?

Organisational know-how is about understanding how organisations work and interact and how they can become successful. It can be acquired through academic or vocational learning about organisations or through experience.

Why is it important?

There is a yawning gap between what education can teach and the rapidly changing needs of the workplace. Employers value ‘real world’ experience – putting it far ahead of exam success – and 65% of them consider it a critical employability factor. Yet only 36% of school leavers have access to work experience, often with little help finding it.

What does it look like?

Organisational know-how offers insights into how organisations operate. It reveals typical structures, roles and work cultures, as well as the different types and size of organisations, industries and sectors, and how they interact. It allows students to assess how education and training may equip them for individual pathways through – and between – sectors. It should start early the classroom, and become more targeted through part time jobs or work experience.

What difference does it make?

Investing in organisational know-how will produce a generation of work-ready recruits, able to adapt to an evolving workplace from day one. This experience is vital to consolidate skills, attitudes and behaviours. Recent research shows that four or more opportunities to interact with employers while at school can reduce the problem of becoming NEET by up to 86%. Encouraging this is a priority for CET.

Organisational Know-How in context:

Commercial Ability Cycle

The Components of Commercial Ability

Commercial Ability is comprised of five inter-dependent and mutually-reinforcing components.

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