Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 20

Employability Related Abstracts

20 Case Study: Linking Career Education to University Education in Japan

Authors: Kumiko Inagaki

Abstract:

Japanese society is experiencing an aging population and declining birth rate along with the popularization of higher education, spread of economic globalization, rapid progress in technical innovation, changes in employment conditions, and emergence of a knowledge-based society. Against this background, interest in career education at Japanese universities has increased in recent years. This paper describes how the government has implemented career education policies in Japan, and introduces the cases of two universities that have successfully linked career education to university education in Japan.

Keywords: Higher Education, Employability, Career Education, japanese university, university education

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19 The Influence of Gender on Job-Competencies Requirements of Chemical-Based Industries and Undergraduate-Competencies Acquisition of Chemists in South West, Nigeria

Authors: Rachael Olatoun Okunuga

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Developing young people’s employability is a key policy issue for ensuring their successful transition to the labour market and their access to career oriented employment. The youths of today irrespective of their gender need to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to create or find jobs as well as cope with unpredictable labour market changes throughout their working lives. In a study carried out to determine the influence of gender on job-competencies requirements of chemical-based industries and undergraduate-competencies acquisition by chemists working in the industries, all chemistry graduates working in twenty (20) chemical-based industries that were randomly selected from six sectors of chemical-based industries in Lagos and Ogun States of Nigeria were administered with Job-competencies required and undergraduate-competencies acquired assessment questionnaire. The data were analysed using means and independent sample t-test. The findings revealed that the population of female chemists working in chemical-based industries is low compared with the number of male chemists; furthermore, job-competencies requirements are found not to be gender sensitive while there is no significant difference in undergraduate-competencies acquisition of male and female chemists. This suggests that females should be given the same opportunity of employment in chemical-based industries as their male counterparts. The study also revealed the level of acquisition of undergraduate competencies as related to the needs of chemical-based industries.

Keywords: Knowledge, Employability, attitude, skill, acquired, required

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18 Integrated Education at Jazan University: Budding Hope for Employability

Authors: Jayanthi Rajendran

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Experience is what makes a man perfect. Though we tend to learn many a different things in life through practice still we need to go an extra mile to gain experience which would be profitable only when it is integrated with regular practice. A clear phenomenal idea is that every teacher is a learner. The centralized idea of this paper would focus on the integrated practices carried out among the students of Jizan University which enhances learning through experiences. Integrated practices like student-directed activities, balanced curriculum, phonological based activities and use of consistent language would enlarge the vision and mission of students to earn experience through learning. Students who receive explicit instruction and guidance could practice the skills and strategies through student-directed activities such as peer tutoring and cooperative learning. The second effective practice is to use consistent language. Consistent language provides students a model for talking about the new concepts which also enables them to communicate without hindrances. Phonological awareness is an important early reading skill for all students. Students generally have phonemic awareness in their home language can often transfer that knowledge to a second language. And also a balanced curriculum requires instruction in all the elements of reading. Reading is the most effective skill when both basic and higher-order skills are included on a daily basis. Computer based reading and listening skills will empower students to understand a language in a better way. English language learners can benefit from sound reading instruction even before they are fully proficient in English as long as the instruction is comprehensible. Thus, if students have to be well equipped in learning they should foreground themselves in various integrated practices through multifarious experience for which teachers are moderators and trainers. This type of learning prepares the students for a constantly changing society which helps them to meet the competitive world around them for better employability fulfilling the vision and mission of the institution.

Keywords: Employability, consistent language, phonological awareness, balanced curriculum

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17 Soft Skills: Expectations and Needs in Tourism

Authors: Susana Silva, Dora Martins

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The recent political, economic, social technological and employment changes significantly affect the tourism organizations and consequently the changing nature of the employment experience of the tourism workforce. Such scene leads several researchers and labor analysts to reflect about what kinds of jobs, knowledge and competences are need to ensure the success to teach, to learning and to work on this sector. In recent years the competency-based approach in high education level has become of significant interest. On the one hand, this approach could leads to the forming of the key students’ competences which contribute their better preparation to the professional future and on the other hand could answer better to practical demands from tourism job market. The goals of this paper are (1) to understand the expectations of university tourism students in relation to the present and future tourism competences demands, (2) to identify the importance put on the soft skills, (3) to know the importance of high qualification to their future professional activity and (4) to explore the students perception about present and future tourist sector specificities. To this proposal, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to every students who participate on classes of Hospitality Management under degree and master from one public Portuguese university. All participants were invited, during December 2014 and September 2015, to answer the questionnaire at the moment and on presence of one researcher of this study. Fulfilled the questionnaire 202 students (72, 35,6% male and 130, 64.4% female), the mean age was 21,64 (SD=5,27), 91% (n=86) were undergraduate and 18 (9%) were master students. 80% (n=162) of our participants refers as a possibility to look for a job outside the country.42% (n=85) prefers to work in a medium-sized tourism units (with 50-249 employees). According to our participants the most valued skills in tourism are the domain of foreign languages (87.6%, n=177), the ability to work as a team (85%), the personal persistence (83%, n=168), the knowledge of the product/services provided (73.8%, n=149), and assertiveness (66.3%, n=134). 65% (n=131) refers the availability to look for a job in a home distance of 1000 kilometers and 59% (n=119) do not consider the possibility to work in another area than tourism. From the results of this study we are in the position of confirming the need for universities to maintain a better link with the professional tourism companies and to rethink some competences into their learning course model. Based on our results students, universities and companies could understand more deeply the motivations, expectations and competences need to build the future career who study and work on the tourism sector.

Keywords: Tourism, Employability, Human Capital, soft skills, students’ competencies perceptions

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16 Integrating Experiential Real-World Learning in Undergraduate Degrees: Maximizing Benefits and Overcoming Challenges

Authors: Anne E. Goodenough

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One of the most important roles of higher education professionals is to ensure that graduates have excellent employment prospects. This means providing students with the skills necessary to be immediately effective in the workplace. Increasingly, universities are seeking to achieve this by moving from lecture-based and campus-delivered curricula to more varied delivery, which takes students out of their academic comfort zone and allows them to engage with, and be challenged by, real world issues. One popular approach is integration of problem-based learning (PBL) projects into curricula. However, although the potential benefits of PBL are considerable, it can be difficult to devise projects that are meaningful, such that they can be regarded as mere ‘hoop jumping’ exercises. This study examines three-way partnerships between academics, students, and external link organizations. It studied the experiences of all partners involved in different collaborative projects to identify how benefits can be maximized and challenges overcome. Focal collaborations included: (1) development of real-world modules with novel assessment whereby the organization became the ‘client’ for student consultancy work; (2) frameworks where students collected/analyzed data for link organizations in research methods modules; (3) placement-based internships and dissertations; (4) immersive fieldwork projects in novel locations; and (5) students working as partners on staff-led research with link organizations. Focus groups, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to identify opportunities and barriers, while quantitative analysis of students’ grades was used to determine academic effectiveness. Common challenges identified by academics were finding suitable link organizations and devising projects that simultaneously provided education opportunities and tangible benefits. There was no ‘one size fits all’ formula for success, but careful planning and ensuring clarity of roles/responsibilities were vital. Students were very positive about collaboration projects. They identified benefits to confidence, time-keeping and communication, as well as conveying their enthusiasm when their work was of benefit to the wider community. They frequently highlighted employability opportunities that collaborative projects opened up and analysis of grades demonstrated the potential for such projects to increase attainment. Organizations generally recognized the value of project outputs, but often required considerable assistance to put the right scaffolding in place to ensure projects worked. Benefits were maximized by ensuring projects were well-designed, innovative, and challenging. Co-publication of projects in peer-reviewed journals sometimes gave additional benefits for all involved, being especially beneficial for student curriculum vitae. PBL and student projects are by no means new pedagogic approaches: the novelty here came from creating meaningful three-way partnerships between academics, students, and link organizations at all undergraduate levels. Such collaborations can allow students to make a genuine contribution to knowledge, answer real questions, solve actual problems, all while providing tangible benefits to organizations. Because projects are actually needed, students tend to engage with learning at a deep level. This enhances student experience, increases attainment, encourages development of subject-specific and transferable skills, and promotes networking opportunities. Such projects frequently rely upon students and staff working collaboratively, thereby also acting to break down the traditional teacher/learner division that is typically unhelpful in developing students as advanced learners.

Keywords: Higher Education, Employability, Student Experience, link organizations, innovative teaching and learning methods, interactions between enterprise and education

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15 A Triple Win: Linking Students, Academics, and External Organisations to Provide Real-World Learning Experiences with Real-World Benefits

Authors: Anne E. Goodenough

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Students often learn best ‘on the job’ through holistic real-world projects. They need real-world experiences to make classroom learning applicable and to increase their employability. Academics typically value working on projects where new knowledge is created and have a genuine desire to help students engage with learning and develop new skills. They might also have institutional pressure to enhance student engagement, retention, and satisfaction. External organizations - especially non-governmental bodies, charities, and small enterprises - often have fundamental and pressing questions, but lack the manpower and academic expertise to answer them effectively. They might also be on the lookout for talented potential employees. This study examines ways in which these diverse requirements can be met simultaneously by creating three-way projects that provide excellent academic and real-world outcomes for all involved. It studied a range of innovative projects across natural sciences (biology, ecology, physical geography and social sciences (human geography, sociology, criminology, and community engagement) to establish how to best harness the potential of this powerful approach. Focal collaborations included: (1) development of practitioner-linked modules; (2) frameworks where students collected/analyzed data for link organizations in research methods modules; (3) placement-based internships and dissertations; and (4) immersive fieldwork projects in novel locations to allow students engage first-hand with contemporary issues as diverse as rhino poaching in South Africa, segregation in Ireland, and gun crime in Florida. Although there was no ‘magic formula’ for success, the approach was found to work best when small projects were developed that were achievable in a short time-frame, both to tie into modular curricula and meet the immediacy expectations of many link organizations. Bigger projects were found to work well in some cases, especially when they were essentially a series of linked smaller projects, either running concurrently or successively with each building on previous work. Opportunities were maximized when there were tangible benefits to the link organization as this generally increased organization investment in the project and motivated students too. The importance of finding the right approach for a given project was found to be key: it was vital to ensure that something that could work effectively as an independent research project for one student, for example, was not shoehorned into being a project for multiple students within a taught module. In general, students were very positive about collaboration projects. They identified benefits to confidence, time-keeping and communication, as well as conveying their enthusiasm when their work was of benefit to the wider community. Several students have gone on to do further work with the link organization in a voluntary capacity or as paid staff, or used the experiences to help them break into the ever-more competitive job market in other ways. Although this approach involves a substantial time investment, especially from academics, the benefits can be profound. The approach has strong potential to engage students, help retention, improve student satisfaction, and teach new skills; keep the knowledge of academics fresh and current; and provide valuable tangible benefits for link organizations: a real triple win.

Keywords: Higher Education, Employability, Curriculum Development, Innovative Pedagogy, Effective Education, Student Experience, Authentic Learning, link organizations

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14 Tourism Qualification and Academics' Opinions about the Influence of Employability Skills on Graduates' Ability to Secure Jobs in the Tourism Industry

Authors: Nicola Wakelin-Theron

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This study focuses on higher education institutions in South Africa, with the view to understanding how tourism as a study discipline has evolved over the years, as well as the influence of employability skills on graduates’ ability to secure jobs in the tourism industry. Indeed, the employability landscape is becoming more complex; hence, it is imperative for higher education institutions to equip students with employability skills while going through their academic programmes and during their transition from higher education to the world of work. Employability – which is regarded as an empowerment mechanism and a key to job security – is a set of achievements which increases the probability for graduates to find and maintain employment. A quantitative research method was used to obtain the necessary information. Data were collected through a web-based, online survey questionnaire directed to academics from various public higher education institutions in South Africa that offer tourism as a qualification. The key findings revealed that academics are of the opinion that there are 5 skills that are influential in obtaining a position within the tourism industry.

Keywords: Employability, Tourism Industry, industry skills, tourism qualification

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13 Integrating Generic Skills into Disciplinary Curricula

Authors: Sitalakshmi Venkatraman, Samuel Kaspi, Fiona Wahr, Anthony de Souza-Daw

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There is a growing emphasis on generic skills in higher education to match the changing skill-set requirements of the labour market. However, researchers and policy makers have not arrived at a consensus on the generic skills that actually contribute towards workplace employability and performance that complement and/or underpin discipline-specific graduate attributes. In order to strengthen the qualifications framework, a range of ‘generic’ learning outcomes have been considered for students undergoing higher education programs and among them it is necessary to have the fundamental generic skills such as literacy and numeracy at a level appropriate to the qualification type. This warrants for curriculum design approaches to contextualise the form and scope of these fundamental generic skills for supporting both students’ learning engagement in the course, as well as the graduate attributes required for employability and to progress within their chosen profession. Little research is reported in integrating such generic skills into discipline-specific learning outcomes. This paper explores the literature of the generic skills required for graduates from the discipline of Information Technology (IT) in relation to an Australian higher education institution. The paper presents the rationale of a proposed Bachelor of IT curriculum designed to contextualize the learning of these generic skills within the students’ discipline studies.

Keywords: Higher Education, Information Technology, Employability, Curriculum, Generic Skills, graduate attributes

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12 Articulating Competencies Confidently: Employability in the Curriculum

Authors: Chris Procter

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There is a significant debate on the role of University education in developing or teaching employability skills. Should higher education attempt to do this? Is it the best place? Is it able to do so? Different views abound, but the question is wrongly posed – one of the reasons that previous employability initiatives foundered (e.g., in the UK). Our role is less to teach than to guide, less to develop and more to help articulate: “the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lit” (Plutarch). This paper then addresses how this can be achieved taking into account criticism of employability initiatives as well as relevant learning theory. It discusses the experience of a large module which involved students being assessed on all stages of application for a live job description together with reflection on their professional development. The assessment itself adopted a Patchwork Text approach as a vehicle for learning. Students were guided to evaluate their strengths and areas to be developed, articulate their competencies, and reflect upon their development, moving on to new Thresholds of Employability. The paper uses the student voices to express the progress they made. It concludes that employability can and should be an effective part of the higher education curriculum when designed to encourage students to confidently articulate their competencies and take charge of their own professional development.

Keywords: Employability, Competencies, patchwork assessment, threshold concepts

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11 Work Experience and Employability: Results and Evaluation of a Pilot Training Course on Skills for Company Tutors

Authors: Javier Barraycoa, Olga Lasaga

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Work experience placements are one of the main routes to employment and acquiring professional experience for recent graduates. The effectiveness of these work experience placements is conditioned to the training in skills, especially teaching skills, of company tutors. For this reason, a manual specifically designed for training company tutors in these skills has been developed. Similarly, a pilot semi-attendance course to provide the resources that enable tutors to improve their role as instructors was carried out. The course was quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated with the aim of assessing its effectiveness, detecting shortcomings and areas to be improved, and revising the manual contents. One of the biggest achievements was the raising of awareness in the participating tutors of the importance of their work and of the need to develop teaching skills. As a result of this project, we have detected a need to design specific training supplements according to knowledge areas and sectors, to collate good practices and to create easily accessible audiovisual materials.

Keywords: Employability, work experience, company tutors, teaching skills

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10 Evaluating the Extent to Which Higher Education in Creativity Match with Demands of the Industry in Istanbul

Authors: Büşra Güven, Ebru Kerimoğlu

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Relevant departments of universities in creative fields are increasingly facing the challenge of developing curriculum for more employable creative workforce. In Turkey, as a developing country, the creative industries have not yet argued in the political axis and higher education also has not been addressed in this context. Istanbul has the highest creative and cultural industries share also provides both rooted and developing higher education institutes for these sectors in Turkey. With this in mind, the main purpose of the paper attempts to clarify that how does higher education in creative fields deal with the demands of creative industries in Istanbul? First, the paper elaborated creative class theory, second creative industries, employability and curriculum triangle is examined. The research methodology consisted of a qualitative model based on interview analysis. Data are collected by interviews with the head of the relevant departments and professional associations authorities in selected sectors. Four higher education institutes in Istanbul are selected according to the some clarified factors related to the literature. This also offered a comparing between public and private universities in terms of the adaptability of this changing concept of work. Industry expectations and content of educations were compared and found the blind spots in the education-industry relationships. As a consequence, produced inclusive policies for universities and industries to overcome these spots with collaboration, flexibility, adaptability, openness and feedback management and also for future policies in particular outcomes of university-industry collaborations.

Keywords: Employability, Curriculum, creative industries, Istanbul, high education

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9 Mindfulness and Employability: A Course on the Control of Stress during the Search for Work

Authors: O. Lasaga

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Defining professional objectives and the search for work are some of the greatest stress factors for final year university students and recent graduates. To manage correctly the stress brought about by the uncertainty, confusion and frustration this process often generates, a course to control stress based on mindfulness has been designed and taught. This course provides tools based on relaxation, mindfulness and meditation that enable students to address personal and professional challenges in the transition to the job market, eliminating or easing the anxiety involved. The course is extremely practical and experiential, combining theory classes and practical classes of relaxation, meditation and mindfulness, group dynamics, reflection, application protocols and session integration. The evaluation of the courses highlighted on the one hand the high degree of satisfaction and, on the other, the usefulness for the students in becoming aware of stressful situations and how these affect them and learning new coping techniques that enable them to reach their goals more easily and with greater satisfaction and well-being.

Keywords: Employability, stress, Meditation, Mindfulness, relaxation techniques

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8 Encouraging Skills and Entrepreneurial Spirit to Improve Employability of Young Artists

Authors: Olga Lasaga, Carmen Parra

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Within the EU 'New Skills for New Jobs' initiative, the art and music sector is considered one of the most vulnerable. Its graduates are faced with the threat of the dole or of not finding work in the sector in which they trained. In this regard, an increasing number of students are graduating every year from European Conservatories and Fine Arts Centres, while the number of job opportunities in this sector has stagnated or decreased. Moreover, the traditional teaching of these institutes does not favour the acquisition of basic skills, such as team building, entrepreneurship, marketing, website design and the design of events, which are among the most important facets of project management and are precisely those aspects that are often most related to the improvement of employability in the art world. To remedy this situation, the results of the European Erasmus+ OMEGA project (Opening More Employment Gates for Art and Music Students) are presented. The OMEGA project aims to increase the employability of art and music students by equipping them with additional skills needed for the search for work. As a result of this project, a manual has been created, a pilot course has been designed and taught, and a comparative study has been conducted on the state of play of the participating countries.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Employability, Skills, artists, musicians

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7 Employability Skills: The Route to Achieve Demographic Dividend in India

Authors: Malathi Iyer, Jayesh Vaidya

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The demographic dividend of India will last for thirty years from now. However, reduction in birth rate, an increase in working population, improvements in medicine and better health practices lead to an ever-expanding elderly population, bringing additional burden to the economy and putting an end to the demographic dividend. To reap the dividend India needs to train the youth for employability. The need of the hour is to improve their life skills which lead the youth to become industrious and have continuous employment. The study will be conducted in perceiving the skill gaps that exist in commerce students for employability. The analysis results indicate the relation between the core study and the right skills for the workforce, with the steps that are taken to open the window for the demographic dividend.

Keywords: Employability, Workforce, Life Skills, Demographic Dividend

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6 Tourism and Hospitality Education Efficiency Management: The Case of the Tourism Department of Sultan Qaboos University

Authors: Tamer Mohamed Atef

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The tourism and hospitality education is a branch of the overall tourism and hospitality industry that is dedicated to providing the industry with well-educated, well-trained, skilled, enthusiastic and committed workforce. The Tourism Department at the College of Arts and Social Sciences (Sultan Qaboos University), Oman, has been providing the Omani society with undergraduate tourism and hospitality educational services since Fall 2001. Despite the fact that Tourism Department graduates are not facing any employment concerns, fluctuation in the number of enrollees and graduates, however, has been a significant characteristic since the inception of the program. To address this concern, several tactical and strategic decisions have been made, notably that the program has received accreditation from two prestigious international accreditation institutions, which mark two major milestones in the educational journey of the Tourism Department. The current study, thus, aims to provide a tourism and hospitality education efficiency management model. To achieve this aim, the following objectives were identified: to analyze students in - graduates out matrix, and to assess graduates’ employment trends. A survey was conducted to assess the current employment status of the department graduates. Secondary data were collected from Deanship of Admission and Registration statistical reports on the Tourism Department. Data were tabulated and analyzed in such a way that set forth the major findings from the survey and the secondary data. This study sheds light on the educational system created and followed by the Tourism Department, in an effort to provide a tourism and hospitality education efficiency management model, that would help educators and administrators better manage their programs.

Keywords: Education, Tourism, hospitality, Employability, indicators, students, graduates

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5 Human Interaction Skills and Employability in Courses with Internships: Report of a Decade of Success in Information Technology

Authors: Cristina Costa-Lobo, Filomena Lopes, Miguel Magalhaes, Carla Santos Pereira, Natercia Durao

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The option to implement curricular internships with undergraduate students is a pedagogical option with some good results perceived by academic staff, employers, and among graduates in general and IT (Information Technology) in particular. Knowing that this type of exercise has never been so relevant, as one tries to give meaning to the future in a landscape of rapid and deep changes. We have as an example the potential disruptive impact on the jobs of advances in robotics, artificial intelligence and 3-D printing, which is a focus of fierce debate. It is in this context that more and more students and employers engage in the pursuit of career-promoting responses and business development, making their investment decisions of training and hiring. Three decades of experience and research in computer science degree and in information systems technologies degree at the Portucalense University, Portuguese private university, has provided strong evidence of its advantages. The Human Interaction Skills development as well as the attractiveness of such experiences for students are topics assumed as core in the Ccnception and management of the activities implemented in these study cycles. The objective of this paper is to gather evidence of the Human Interaction Skills explained and valued within the curriculum internship experiences of IT students employability. Data collection was based on the application of questionnaire to intern counselors and to students who have completed internships in these undergraduate courses in the last decade. The trainee supervisor, responsible for monitoring the performance of IT students in the evolution of traineeship activities, evaluates the following Human Interaction Skills: Motivation and interest in the activities developed, interpersonal relationship, cooperation in company activities, assiduity, ease of knowledge apprehension, Compliance with norms, insertion in the work environment, productivity, initiative, ability to take responsibility, creativity in proposing solutions, and self-confidence. The results show that these undergraduate courses promote the development of Human Interaction Skills and that these students, once they finish their degree, are able to initiate remunerated work functions, mainly by invitation of the institutions in which they perform curricular internships. Findings obtained from the present study contribute to widen the analysis of its effectiveness in terms of future research and actions in regard to the transition from Higher Education pathways to the Labour Market.

Keywords: Higher Education, Information Technology, Employability, Internships, human interaction skills

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4 Embedding Employability in the Curriculum: Experiences from New Zealand

Authors: Narissa Lewis, Susan Geertshuis

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The global and national employability agenda is changing the higher education landscape as academic staff are faced with the responsibility of developing employability capabilities and attributes in addition to delivering discipline specific content and skills. They realise that the shift towards teaching sustainable capabilities means a shift in the way they teach. But what that shift should be or how they should bring it about is unclear. As part of a national funded project, representatives from several New Zealand (NZ) higher education institutions and the NZ Association of Graduate Employers partnered to discover, trial and disseminate means of embedding employability in the curriculum. Findings from four focus groups (n=~75) and individual interviews (n=20) with staff from several NZ higher education institutions identified factors that enable or hinder embedded employability development within their respective institutions. Participants believed that higher education institutions have a key role in developing graduates for successful lives and careers however this requires a significant shift in culture within their respective institutions. Participants cited three main barriers: lack of strategic direction, support and guidance; lack of understanding and awareness of employability; and lack of resourcing and staff capability. Without adequate understanding and awareness of employability, participants believed it is difficult to understand what employability is let alone how it can be embedded in the curriculum. This presentation will describe some of the impacts that the employability agenda has on staff as they try to move from traditional to contemporary forms of teaching to develop employability attributes of students. Changes at the institutional level are required to support contemporary forms of teaching, however this is often beyond the sphere of influence at the teaching staff level. The study identified that small changes to teaching practices were necessary and a simple model to facilitate change from traditional to contemporary forms of teaching was developed. The model provides a framework to identify small but impactful teaching practices and exemplar teaching practices were identified. These practices were evaluated for transferability into other contexts to encourage small but impactful changes to embed employability in the curriculum.

Keywords: Employability, Curriculum Design, Change Management, teaching exemplars

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3 Employability Potential of Differently Abled in the Indian Apparel Industry

Authors: Noopur Anand, Gunjita Shami

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The pilot run of 50 days was undertaken to test employability potential of people with visual and hearing & speech impairment. Various roles in an apparel manufacturing set up like spreading of fabric for cutting, folding, sealing and labeling cartons, pasting size barcode stickers on packed garments, removing tickets from the garments in the finishing stage were studied. Their performance was quantified basis timesheets for all the days and improvement per day was quantified. Their final day output was compared to that of the able-bodied worker. For example in the carton making activity on day one visually impaired worker was making one box every three minutes which improved to four boxes per minute on day 28 displaying 91.6% improvement compared or an improvement of 3.6% per day which was comparable to the able-bodied seasoned workers, who were making 5 boxes per minute. The performance of persons with hearing and speech impairment in the finishing department was 10% higher than that of able-bodied seasoned workers in the same process. Overall in all the activities the differently abled showed day to day improvement of 65% while able bodied displayed improvement of 52%. On the first day performance of able-bodied worker was 75% better than that of differently abled while on the 50th day it was only 20% better. Therefore the performance of persons with disabilities was found comparable to the able bodied person. The results, though on a small scale, showed a big promise of employment of persons with disability in the apparel industry. Armed with the promising result a full-scale study has been undertaken to identify the roles suitable for certain kind of disability in apparel production, work-aids required to assist the differently abled to improve performance and measures to be undertaken to make production floor 'friendlier' for them. The results have been discussed in this paper which opens doors for integrating differently abled into the world projected and assumed for only able-bodied.

Keywords: Employability, Performance, apparel sector, differently abled, work-aid

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2 Creating Standards to Define the Role of Employment Specialists: A Case Study

Authors: Joseph Ippolito, David Megenhardt

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In the United States, displaced workers, the unemployed and those seeking to build additional work skills are provided employment training and job placement services through a system of One-Stop Career Centers that are sponsored by the country’s 593 local Workforce Boards. During the period 2010-2015, these centers served roughly 8 million individuals each year. The quality of services provided at these centers rests upon professional employment specialists who work closely with clients to identify their job interests, to connect them to appropriate training opportunities, to match them with needed supportive social services and to guide them to eventual employment. Despite the crucial role these Employment Specialists play, currently there are no broadly accepted standards that establish what these individuals are expected to do in the workplace, nor are there indicators to assess how well an individual performs these responsibilities. Education Development Center (EDC) and the United Labor Agency (ULA) have partnered to create a foundation upon which curriculum can be developed that addresses the skills, knowledge and behaviors that Employment Specialists must master in order to serve their clients effectively. EDC is a non-profit, education research and development organization that designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health and economic opportunity worldwide. ULA is the social action arm of organized labor in Greater Cleveland, Ohio. ULA currently operates One-Stop Career Centers in both Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This case study outlines efforts taken to create standards that define the work of Employment Specialists and to establish indicators that can guide assessment of work performance. The methodology involved in the study has engaged a panel of expert Employment Specialists in rigorous, structured dialogues that analyze and identify the characteristics that enable them to be effective in their jobs. It has also drawn upon and integrated reviews of the panel’s work by more than 100 other Employment Specialists across the country. The results of this process are two documents that provide resources for developing training curriculum for future Employment Specialists, namely: an occupational profile of an Employment Specialist that offers a detailed articulation of the skills, knowledge and behaviors that enable individuals to be successful at this job, and; a collection of performance based indicators, aligned to the profile, which illustrate what the work responsibilities of an Employment Specialist 'look like' a four levels of effectiveness ranging from novice to expert. The method of occupational analysis used by the study has application across a broad number of fields.

Keywords: Employability, Assessment, Workforce development, job standards

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1 Poor Proficiency of English Language among Tertiary Level Students in Bangladesh and Its Effect on Employability: An Investigation to Find Fact and Solution

Authors: Tanvir Ahmed, Nahian Fyrose Fahim, Subrata Majumder, Tek Winesberry

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English is unanimously recognized as the standard second language in the world, and no one can deny this fact. Many people believe that possessing English proficiency skills is the key to communicating effectively globally, especially for developing countries, which can bring further success to itself on many fronts, as well as to other countries, by ensuring its people worldwide access to education, business, and technology. A notable number of students in Bangladesh are currently pursuing higher education, especially at the tertiary or collegiate level in more than 150 public and private universities. English is the dominant linguistic medium through which college instruction and lectures are given to students in Bangladesh. However, many of our students who had only completed their primary and secondary levels of education in the Bangla medium or language are generally in an awkward position to suddenly take and complete many unfamiliar requirements by the time they enter the university as freshmen. As students, they struggle to complete at least 18 courses to acquire proficiency in English. After obtaining a tertiary education certificate, the students could then have the opportunity to acquire a sustainable position in the job market industry; however, many of them do fail unfortunately, because of poor English proficiency skills. After statistical analysis, the study suggested certain remedial measures that could be taken in order to increase students’ proficiency in English as well as to ensure their employability potential.

Keywords: Employability, tertiary education, English language proficiency, unemployment problems

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