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Graduate employability: How the higher education institutions can meet the demand of the labour market

Ugochukwu Chinonso Okolie (Ebonyi State University Faculty of Education, Abakaliki, Nigeria)
Hyginus Emeka Nwosu (Department of Accountancy, Business Administration and Banking and Finance, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Abakaliki, Nigeria)
Sunday Mlanga (Department of Accountancy, Business Administration and Banking and Finance, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Abakaliki, Nigeria)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 22 March 2019

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019

2909

Abstract

Purpose

Following the outcry of several employers that many higher education (HE) graduates do not possess employability skills and therefore are not employable, the purpose of this paper, therefore, is to examine what the labour market (LM) actually demands from the higher education institutions (HEIs) and how the demands of the LM can be met by the HEIs in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on interviews and focus group with 28 university professors, executives of the students’ industrial work scheme (SIWES), industry executives, executive officers of the Directorate of Employment and the HE course/programme leaders that revealed substantial information about what the LM actually requires from the HE, and how the HE can meet the demands of the LM in terms of supply of quality graduates.

Findings

The key findings reveal that with adequate teaching resources and competent teachers, graduate employability skills (technical and soft), which the LM demands from the HEIs, can be imparted to the students. Concerning LM and HEIs partnerships, it is found that understanding the demands of the LM by the HEIs can enhance the graduates’ outcomes and their prospects in the LM.

Research limitations/implications

The study argues that the graduate employability is still relevant to the existing practice, but further engagement and research surrounding how the HEIs in the developing countries, especially Nigeria, can meet the actual demands of the LM in terms of competent graduates are needed to examine this range of HE.

Originality/value

The study provides significant suggestions on the improvement needs of the HE teachers to inspire and motivate students to increase the knowledge (know-how), skills (how to do), self-efficacy (effectiveness) and qualities (technical and creative knowledge) required by the LM.

Keywords

Citation

Okolie, U.C., Nwosu, H.E. and Mlanga, S. (2019), "Graduate employability: How the higher education institutions can meet the demand of the labour market", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 620-636. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-09-2018-0089

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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