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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Jos Sanders and Andries de Grip

This paper analyses whether low‐skilled workers' training participation and task flexibility contribute to their firm‐internal and firm‐external mobility, and find that…

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4483

Abstract

This paper analyses whether low‐skilled workers' training participation and task flexibility contribute to their firm‐internal and firm‐external mobility, and find that both training participation and task flexibility contribute only to firm‐internal employability. However, the workers' participation in training plays a much more explicit role in their firm‐internal career than their task flexibility does, as the former appears to be an important means to increase their opportunities in the firm‐internal labour market. Neither the low‐skilled workers' participation in training nor their task flexibility contributes to their external employability. Task‐flexible, low‐skilled workers are less likely to expect to be externally employable than non‐task flexible workers are. The focus of the low‐skilled workers on their firm‐internal employability can be explained by the fact that such workers usually have more opportunities to improve their position in the firm‐internal labour market than in the external labour market.

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International Journal of Manpower, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2020

Md Moazzem Hossain, Manzurul Alam, Mohammed Alamgir and Amirus Salat

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between skills and employability of business graduates. The study also examines the moderating effect of ‘social…

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1271

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between skills and employability of business graduates. The study also examines the moderating effect of ‘social mobility factors’ in the ‘skillsemployability’ relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative positivist approach was undertaken to test the hypotheses. Business graduates from two universities in a developing country responded to a questionnaire about their perceptions of different sets of employability factors. Partial least squares (PLS)-based structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to examine the relationships between skills and employability of business graduates.

Findings

The findings show that both soft skills and technical skills are positively related to employability, which is consistent with prior studies. The findings also indicate that social mobility factors play a significant role in employability.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on data from two public universities, and its findings need to be interpreted with care as universities differ in their size, area of concentration and ownership structure.

Practical implications

The findings advance the evidence of graduate employability of business students. Based on these results, university authorities, policymakers, teachers and business graduates will benefit from the findings related to students preparedness for the competitive global job market.

Originality/value

The study's findings contribute to business graduates' skill set development in the developing countries that share a similar education system, culture and values.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 62 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 24 March 2020

Ugochukwu Chinonso Okolie, Chinyere Augusta Nwajiuba, Michael Olayinka Binuomote, Christian Ehiobuche, Ntasiobi Chikezie Nwankwo Igu and Ogungboyega Suliyat Ajoke

This study explores how career training with mentoring (CTM) programs work in Nigerian higher education (HE) institutions to foster students' career development and…

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1130

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores how career training with mentoring (CTM) programs work in Nigerian higher education (HE) institutions to foster students' career development and employability of graduates. It also explores how Nigerian HE curriculum can be adequately used to facilitate CTM as well as possible constraints to effective implementation of CTM programs in Nigerian HE institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on interviews with well-qualified and experienced experts from six Nigerian public universities (each from the 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria), and 20 industries also within the same 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria that were selected for this study using a purposeful sampling technique. The study interviewed 33 experts comprising 21 senior academics at Nigerian universities and 12 industry executives to reveal substantial information about CTM programs in Nigerian HE institutions.

Findings

Drawing on the three key themes that emerged during the thematic analysis and linked to social cognitive career theory, it is clear that participants are convinced that CTM can enhance clarity about students' career ambitions, career interests, personal development plans and employability. Findings show that there are some career-related programs or activities that Nigerian HE students are presented with, but the programs have not been effective as to offer graduates quality career guidance and employability skills that employers demand. Acknowledging these, participants recommend establishing CTM centres in all Nigerian HE institutions to provide students with the opportunity to receive quality career advice, coaching and mentoring services while schooling.

Practical implications

The findings of this study shed light on varying resources required to cope with the demands of labour market in terms of supply of competent workforce that can contribute to Nigeria's economic growth and development. The findings are highly relevant for Nigeria and other developing countries' policy and research initiatives that aim to promote social inclusion and equity and improve better working conditions for all. The findings also have implications for career development and employability of HE graduates in developing world context.

Originality/value

Understanding the role that CTM programs can play in facilitating career development and graduate employability can arguably be of importance within the developing world context. This study, therefore, provides significant suggestions on how to build sustained HEIs and labour market partnership to foster career development and employability of HE graduates through establishing CTM centres in every Nigerian HE institutions.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 62 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2020

Noor Al-Shehab, Mukhtar AL-Hashimi, Araby Madbouly, Sameh Reyad and Allam Hamdan

Managers claim that fresh graduates are unequipped to meet market demands. The aim of this study is to investigate the perception of employers in retail Islamic banks of…

Abstract

Purpose

Managers claim that fresh graduates are unequipped to meet market demands. The aim of this study is to investigate the perception of employers in retail Islamic banks of Bahrain on newly graduated business students. The Singaporean Model of Employability Skills was implemented, to ascertain the mean ratings of employability skills in terms of their importance and the competency of business graduates.

Design/methodology/approach

This deductive research approach initiated with a literature review that identifies research gap and a model that was tested via a self-administration adopted survey by collected data from 220 senior employees at retail Islamic banks of Bahrain

Findings

The systematic of convenience sampling technique was used in selecting 161 samples and the researcher received only 85 completed questionnaire forms. Findings initiate that employers appreciated the importance of teamwork, risk management and decision-making skills. Their main recommendation was that employers should establish a durable bond with universities to enhance employability skills.

Originality/value

Because the researcher gathered all data from employers of different Islamic banks in Bahrain, this sector in addition will get the advantage of the results that banks will formulate their strategic plans accordingly to tackle the business graduates’ weaknesses. Likewise, universities and researchers might be motivated to look into new innovative methods that assist graduates to accommodate with market conditions.

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Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2010

Geoff Baker and Debra Henson

This study aims to consider the place of employability in universities, with a focus on research‐intensive institutions, and to outline an initiative that was introduced…

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5982

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to consider the place of employability in universities, with a focus on research‐intensive institutions, and to outline an initiative that was introduced to promote employability skills development at the University of Nottingham.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a discussion of literature on the promotion of employability in higher education, the development of the “Inside Employment” initiative is outlined. The project was developed using an action research methodology.

Findings

The major findings from each cycle are outlined here, demonstrating the different factors that informed the programme's establishment.

Practical implications

The paper makes a number of recommendations for developing opportunities for employability skills development in universities in general, and research‐intensive universities in particular.

Originality/value

The paper will be of value to those involved in developing employability initiatives in higher education, particularly at research‐intensive institutions.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 52 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Nidhi Sehgal and Saboohi Nasim

The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative analysis of the significant factors that influence graduate employability in information technology (IT) sector. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative analysis of the significant factors that influence graduate employability in information technology (IT) sector. This is imperative, given the rising “employability gap” confronted by this sector, especially in context of India. The key factors that influence graduate employability have been drawn from the literature. This research paper aims to conduct a preliminary validation of these predictors of employability and analyse the contextual relationship between them through Total Interpretive Structural Modelling (TISM) technique (Nasim, 2011; Sushil, 2012). This technique is an innovative version of Interpretive Structural Modelling proposed by Warfield (1973).

Design/methodology/approach

The antecedents of graduate employability have been identified through qualitative analysis of available literature. Further, TISM has been used to derive a structural model and analyse the contextual relationship among these identified antecedents. The structural model has been derived through in-depth interviews with experts that include senior middle management professionals from reputed IT companies in India. The developed TISM model has been further validated through assessment surveys with a larger set of domain experts to enhance the credibility of the obtained results.

Findings

Based on the data collected from the domain experts, eight elements including employability and its seven antecedents were hierarchically modelled into four levels. While all the seven identified factors were endorsed by the industry experts as the drivers of employability, some of the key factors affecting employability emerged to be technical specialties knowledge, technology management skills and communication skills. Furthermore, the developed model has been subsequently validated and accepted based on the results of the assessment surveys conducted with a larger set of domain experts.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are expected to help the graduates seeking jobs in IT and allied sectors and the higher education institutions (HEIs) offering academic programmes in this domain. These findings would enable the graduates to understand the significance of the different knowledge/skill areas that influence their employability and increase the chances of securing job. Also, the HEIs can comprehend the developed model to understand the demands of the employers, the rationale behind it and further align their course curriculum/teaching methodologies in sync with their expectations. The developed model should be put to empirical validation for greater reliability.

Originality/value

The qualitative analysis of the antecedents of graduate employability using TISM technique is an original methodological contribution to the field. Though the TISM technique has been used in research studies across different sectors like e-government (Nasim, 2011), higher education (Prasad and Suri, 2011) and flexible manufacturing systems (Dubey and Ali, 2014), the application of this technique to employability in IT sector in India is a novel contribution.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Luminita Nicolescu and Ciprian Nicolescu

This paper aims to present a model of the employability confidence of graduates using employability skills. The purpose of the study is twofold: to identify to what extent…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a model of the employability confidence of graduates using employability skills. The purpose of the study is twofold: to identify to what extent self-perceived employability skills (input employability) influence the employability confidence of students/graduates (output employability) and to identify if there are determinant relationships between categories of employability skills.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers for this study built and tested an employability confidence model which included seven constructs. Six focussed on employability skills “professional skills, transferable individual skills, transferable social skills, personal qualities, job seeking skills and corporate work-related skills”, while the last one focussed on employability confidence, seen as the students’/graduates’ self-reliance for getting and maintaining a job. The model was refined using structural equation modelling (with SmartPLS 3 SEM software) and was tested by empirically, analysing a sample of participants studying business.

Findings

The results illustrated that four categories of skills (personal qualities, professional skills, job seeking skills and transferable social skills) have a positive and significant influence on students’/graduates’ employability confidence, while individual transferable skills and corporate-related skills do not have a significant influence on employability confidence.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributed to the exiting literature by proposing a new model and measurement instrument that links input employability (individual employability skills) with output employability (employability confidence). The model emphasizes the complete range of individual employability skills, the types of skills that are in the control of the individual. It also contributed by collecting data from a less studied country and region, Romania, that can be considered relevant for Central and Eastern Europe due to similar economic, political, cultural and historical characteristics.

Practical implications

From a practical point of view, the results can be of interest to individuals, to universities and the teaching staff, to organizations and their human resource specialists, and to public administrators, as they all can act to support the development of individual employability skills, thereby helping to increase the employability confidence of individuals.

Originality/value

The study contributed to the exiting literature not only by proposing a new conceptual model to analyse employability confidence but also by collecting data from a less studied region, Romania, that can be considered relevant for Central and Eastern Europe due to similar economic, political, cultural and historical characteristics.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 48 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2020

Matthew Dyki, Maggie Singorahardjo and Valeria S. Cotronei-Baird

The purpose of this paper is to provide an authentic and relevant way of sharing our realisation of the significance of integrating employability skills in assessment…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an authentic and relevant way of sharing our realisation of the significance of integrating employability skills in assessment practice. This is supported from the anecdotal evidence received from students, which show that the inclusion and assessment of employability skills has provided them with an artifact that demonstrates the employability skills required for the continually changing future and workplace. For staff, the ability to assess and give feedback on the acquisition of employability skills makes it a more enjoyable experience.

Design/methodology/approach

Due to the short rollout period and pivot to online learning, there has not been an opportunity to undertake a comprehensive and formal data collection. However, anecdotal evidence has been collected from students and staff on the experience of the student-created video assignment in a completely online environment.

Findings

This paper establishes how a student video assessment contributes to students’ acquisition, development and enhancement of employability skills, such as communication and teamwork skills, that are central for preparing students for continually evolving future and thus the “new normal” brought forward by COVID-19.

Practical implications

This paper enables the authors to share their experiences and provision of their resources so that other teaching academics are able to design their own assessment task that contributes to students’ acquisition, development and enhancement of employability skills.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is the application of integrating employability skills in assessment practice and the associated rubric as way to build students’ employability skills in the post-COVID world.

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Amzad Hossain, Harvey Briggs and Ying Kong

The purpose of this study is to analyze the indexes of employability assets that affect students' employability in Indigenous contexts.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the indexes of employability assets that affect students' employability in Indigenous contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The study restructures the indicators developed from the survey the authors did for the Vital Outcome Indicators for Community Engagement (VOICE) research project into six employability indexes. The six indexes are reading and comprehension, numeracy, technological mastery, contribution to organizational performance, job searching skills and cultural awareness. The study has applied mixed research method, which is the combination of survey and secondary data analyses.

Findings

All six indexes have impacts on students' employability in various degrees with a high level of internal consistency among the indicators. The regression analysis reveals that the technological mastery, reading and comprehension and numeracy indexes significantly influence students' contribution to the organizational performance. The results also show that cultural awareness has impacts on employability but students do not connect it to the required employability skills. Such disconnection of cultural awareness with employability skills justifies the necessity to integrate Indigenous cultural contents into programs and curriculums in today's post-secondary education, particularly in the University College of the North (UCN), improving students' cultural knowledge, which, in return, enhances their employability in Indigenous contexts. The result is also applicable globally to countries which have large populations of Indigenous people such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Mexico and other regions where workplaces are set in Indigenous contexts.

Research limitations/implications

The research survey was only conducted within students of UCN Thompson campus.

Practical implications

The results of this paper can be used as a guideline to adjust teaching/learning strategies with a focus on integrating Indigenous cultural components into UCN courses and programs, including other institutions with similar attributes to enhance Indigenous students' employability. UCN tri-council, faculty, community leaders, researchers, government and NGOs can also use the outcome of this paper to articulate polices that enhance students' employability. The outcome and strategic implication of the study can also be applicable to any institutions in a global Indigenous context.

Originality/value

The authors of the paper provide empirical evidence from the indexes of the employability assets including their indicators affecting students' employability. It is attested that cultural awareness index have impacts on students' employability in Indigenous context.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2021

Linda Anne Barkas, Jonathan Matthew Scott, Karen Hadley and Yvonne Dixon-Todd

The purpose of this article is to examine the role of social capital and higher order meta-skills in developing the employability of marketing students at a UK university.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine the role of social capital and higher order meta-skills in developing the employability of marketing students at a UK university.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual article, bolstered by illustrative primary data, provides a broader conceptualisation of employability. This is to address the specific research question on how social capital (contacts and connections) is deployed (via capability-based higher order meta-skills) in a UK university developing the employability of a specific group of students. The article is situated in the highly fraught context of teaching excellence measurement schemes [such as the teaching excellence framework (TEF) in the UK].

Findings

The research findings highlighted the role of social capital and higher order meta-skills in developing the employability of marketing students at a UK university.

Research limitations/implications

While the illustrative primary data are not generalisable, as they are limited to one group of marketing students in one UK university; the conceptual development, including a new social capital based definition of employability that incorporated the capabilities, provided by higher-order meta-skills, is widely applicable.

Practical implications

The article has highlighted how the impact of social capital, etiquette and meta-skills, while being “between the lines” of the employability discourse and the metrics of the TEF, explains the differing perceptions of the value of employability initiatives. The article highlights the grey area of between the reasons given as to why some candidates are valued over others. Perhaps no rhyme or reason sometimes, just the “hidden” perception/interpretations of the interview panel of the “qualities” of one candidate over another.

Originality/value

The difficulty in ascertaining the influence of social capital (and how it can be deployed through higher-order meta-skills as capabilities) results in challenges for universities as they endeavour to respond to the data requirements of “learning gain” within teaching excellent measurement schemes such as the UK teaching excellence framework.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 63 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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