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What makes better career opportunities for young graduates? Examining acquired employability skills in higher education institutions

Peggy M.L. Ng (School of Professional Education and Executive Development, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)
Jason K. Y. Chan (College of Professional and Continuing Education, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)
Tai Ming Wut (School of Professional Education and Executive Development, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)
Man Fung Lo (The Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, China)
Irene Szeto (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 1 July 2021

Issue publication date: 9 July 2021

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278

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model to examine key employability skills that match workplace requirements and foster employability.

Design/methodology/approach

This research comprises a cross-sectional study from self-financing institutions in Hong Kong. The current study adopted structural equation modeling to examine key employability skills that match workplace requirements and foster employability.

Findings

Based on the empirical findings, the acquired employability skills of young graduates are entrepreneurship, professional development, work with others, self-management, communication and problem solving. Moreover, higher education institutions should work closely with industry stakeholders to get employers engaged with the work-integrating learning (WIL) programs and subsequently equip young graduates for better employability opportunities. In connection with employer engagement, employability skills of communication, problem solving and self-management would be improved. Furthermore, entrepreneurship and problem-solving skills could further be developed for young graduating students working in SME organizations during WIL.

Originality/value

As a notable gap exists in the current literature to examine young graduates' key employability skills in the context and content of Hong Kong self-financing tertiary education, this research explores key employability skills of self-financed young graduates and the relative importance of employability skills across company size using a quantitative approach.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project was supported by Thei (Seed Grant): SG1718103.

Citation

Ng, P.M.L., Chan, J.K.Y., Wut, T.M., Lo, M.F. and Szeto, I. (2021), "What makes better career opportunities for young graduates? Examining acquired employability skills in higher education institutions", Education + Training, Vol. 63 No. 6, pp. 852-871. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-08-2020-0231

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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