Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability
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Published By Deakin University


Maisarah Ahmad Kamil ◽  
Ahmad Mazli Muhammad

This paper reports a systematic literature review that was conducted to explore the areas of research pertaining to English language workplace communication needs in order to design courses in English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) that can better meet the demands of the industry. Articles from Scopus, ScienceDirect and Emerald Insight were extracted following the five-step method of conducting a systematic literature review. In total, 133 articles were analysed. From the analysis, it was found that most studies focused on examining the needs of the learners, or the needs of the industry; very few studies triangulated the findings between different stakeholders to obtain a better picture of the needs, wants, and gaps between the target situation and the present situation. Additionally, most studies focused on language tasks required and did not pay due emphasis on the competencies required to perform the tasks well. Thus, the outcome of this review is a proposed theoretical model to develop professional communication competence among new graduates that is intended to be used in a future study to address the gaps found in this review. Practically, the review also sheds light on gaps that exist in current research that can be addressed in future research, especially for higher education institutions (HEIs) that are working to design and develop courses in EOP to improve English language communication skills for employability.

Beverley Oliver

Much has been made of micro-credentials, and the ‘craze’ (Ralston, 2021) and ‘hype’ (Roy & Clark, 2019) they generate. One of the barriers to their success is that a definition of micro-credentials has not been widely agreed (Kato, Galán-Muros, & Weko, 2020). However, to succeed, micro-credentials need not just a definition, but a way to ensure they are valued, and bring value to key stakeholders: particularly learners, employers and providers. To this end, this provocation proposes a micro-credential value framework that sets out their key benefits and costs for learners.    

Susan Rowland ◽  
Daniel Blundell

Australian mathematics and science students have low participation in WIL, posing implications for student employability. To better understand this problem we examined the industry-placement and coursework-incorporated WIL offered across the Faculty of Science at a large research-intensive university. The aim of the study was to provide an evidenced discussion of the types and amounts of WIL that different disciplines offer their students. A matrix was used to measure the inclusion of WIL activities in 265 courses (units of study) across all undergraduate programs in a Faculty of Science. The results, which show comparisons between disciplines, year levels, and class sizes. Indicate that a high proportion of courses incorporate WIL, but that some disciplines are significantly more likely to incorporate WIL than others. This study provides important insights into how science students in different disciplines and in different levels of their degree are prepared for the workplace. As we consider how to address graduate employability through integrating WIL in university STEM coursework, this study provides evidence-based justification to initiate reflection about pedagogy.

Kaleb Oxley ◽  
Tristan Van Rooyen

Micro-credentials, digital badges and industry-recognised certificates have been attracting considerable attention in recent years and with the disruption of many jobs due to the pandemic, interest in continuing education has grown. Micro-credentials represent an alternative approach to career and professional development (Ghasia, Machumu, & De Smet, 2019, p. 219; LaMagna, 2017, p. 207). These credentialed … industry aligned short units of learning’ are described by Wheelahan & Moodie (2021, p. 212) as an extension of ‘21st century skills’ and the discourse of employability in higher education. Graduate employability has become heavily integrated into modern higher education policy frameworks, but what does this actually mean from a student perspective?

Bernard Aboagye ◽  
Julius Puoza

Although the Government of Ghana gives considerable attention to technical education to accelerate national development, some graduates remain unemployed for years after graduation. In this study, employability of mechanical engineering graduates from Sunyani Technical University of Ghana is presented. It assessed the employment status and duration of unemployment of the graduates, identified the factors that hinder their employability and the challenges that require attention prior to graduation of students, and made suggestions for improvement. Respondents of the study were 131 graduates from 2014-2017 graduation years, comprising 50% of graduates from each of the Program options in the department. The sampling techniques used were purposive and stratified random sampling techniques. A questionnaire was the research instrument used for data collection and it was administered using e-mails, WhatsApp and phone calls. The results revealed that the employment status of the graduates was about 84% with the duration of unemployment about 29%, 41% and 19% for one, two and three years after their national service respectively. The main factor hindering employability of the graduates was inadequate practical skills since more attention was given to theory at the expense of practical work. The main challenge which requires attention prior to graduation of students was the lack of job-seeking skills. The Department should therefore, focus more on the practical element of the Programs by increasing the practical hours and partner with industry for curriculum development, more internship opportunities and industrial tours, and organise seminars on job acquisition processes prior to graduation of students to enhance employability of the graduates.

Aradhana Ramnund-Mansingh ◽  
Nikita Reddy

South African higher education (HE) cannot be compared to any other country’s HE systems due to the unique political landscape and structural narrative that it has undergone. Subsequent to the reorganisation of HEIs in 2004, a number of complexities arose. These included accessibility to education across race and the alignment of the South African HEIs to global pedagogic benchmarks. With the changing political landscape, transformations within higher education, socio economic inequities and changes in the workplace, researchers failed to cognize the impact of these factors on graduate employability. Changing graduate attributes to align with a decolonised curriculum and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) workspaces were transiently underway when COVID-19 set a new narrative for the future of employability. This paper seeks to identify the impact of workplace changes and its direct influence on successful graduate employment and integration into the HE curriculum. The work environment has cursorily moved from 4IR to an advanced stage of the 4IR, where there is a full emphasis on digitisation, non-localised workspaces and is an ostensible playground for digital natives (Generation Z). This paper provides a systematic review of literature in the South African HE contexts that pertains to graduate attributes for employability within the workplace.  The adoption of malleable secondary data will allow for an understanding of the relationship between changing workplace environments and expectations from graduates. This correlation is directly linked to graduate attributes which students need to comply with from year one. The paper will provide context to changes which are required for the future success of graduates, and whether graduate attributes are adequate preparation for employability. A clinical model is recommended with an intervention to manage the risk factors of decolonisation of curriculum, the 4IR and multi-generational workplace and responses to COVID-19.

Pi-Shen Seet ◽  
Janice T. Jones

As noted in the foreword of this Special Issue, COVID-19 has accelerated the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s or Industry 4.0’s disruption to the labour market (Sally, 2021). Beyond Industry 4.0 (I4.0), the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by enterprises, underscoring the need for workers to continuously upskill their digital competencies in order to remain relevant (Heinonen & Strandvik, 2021). Besides digitisation, organisations have had to innovate and adopt new business models to adapt to the ‘new normal’ of surviving and growing beyond the COVID-19 pandemic (Heinonen & Strandvik, 2021). In countries that largely relied on skilled migration as an important source of talent, the closure of international borders has restricted mobility of human capital resulting in insufficient skilled employees to meet the current and ever-increasing demand for skills (Guadagno, 2020).

Lourdes Guàrdia ◽  
Federica Mancini ◽  
Pedro Jacobetty ◽  
Marcelo Maina

This paper reports a study about the perceptions of the academic community, employers and civil servants regarding graduates’ employability skills in East Africa. Specifically, it focuses on the mismatch between skills acquired in Higher Education (HE) and those in demand by employers, and explores factors influencing the situation. A mixed method approach was implemented including a survey and a set of focus groups. The questionnaire on employability skills was distributed among regional stakeholders attending the Open Day events organised by three East African HE Institutions. A Principal Components Analysis was applied for the categorisation of the most in-demand skills and the identification of four major workplace skill sets. To gain further insights into the stakeholders’ perceptions of the graduate employability skills gap, 11 focus groups were organised at the same universities. The general results showed that employability skills were mostly perceived as insufficiently developed during the students’ progress in their programs. The final results enabled a better understanding of the nuanced relationship between labour market valuation and graduates’ acquisition of each skill set. It also allowed us to identify problems and barriers, and suggest possible solutions to overcome the shortcomings experienced by the sub-Saharan HE system.

Elizabeth J. Cook ◽  
Linda Crane ◽  
Shelley Kinash ◽  
Amy Bannatyne ◽  
Joseph Crawford ◽  

Postgraduate students are navigating a rapidly evolving landscape for their future careers. In this context, higher education providers are responsible for supporting and monitoring postgraduate (masters and doctoral) students’ development for both education and employability contexts. This empirical research provides a rich analysis of feedback breakfasts, focus groups and interviews with 319 postgraduate student participants from 26 universities. Emergent themes highlight widespread lack of confidence in university-mediated student experiences, particularly in the context of employability, and pessimism regarding career outcomes. Students expressed a view that higher education providers need to direct further attention and relevant supports toward postgraduate education. Future career despondency was particularly prevalent among students with academic aspirations. The findings are discussed using the theoretical framework of eudemonia and flourishing as an approach to revitalising and improving both the process and outcomes of postgraduate education. The paper concludes with practical recommendations for universities to improve the postgraduate student experience in the context of employability.

Kapambwe Mwelwa ◽  
Lazarus D.M. Lebeloane ◽  
Ailwei S. Mawela

A pragmatic approach was used to explore the extent to which four selected social science degree programs were relevant for the skill needs of the job market in Zambia. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 162 participants using interviews and questionnaires. The SPSS version 24 and Atlas. Ti Version 8 were used to analyse and interpret data within the framework of the Capability Approach. The findings reveal that the relevance of each of the four social science degree programs depend on how key stakeholders in higher education and the labour market perceive them and that graduate employability was affected by factors such as the need and importance of social sciences to the labour market; employer and student perceptions of employability skills in the degree programs; demand for the programs; graduate work readiness, and the availability of graduate job prospects. It could be concluded that although all four social science degree programs were important, their relevance to the needs of Zambia’s labour market varied from program to program.

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