Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 67

Search results for: employability

67 Communication Competence or Language Proficiency for Employability: An Investigation on Malaysian Polytechnics ESL Engineering Students

Authors: Chong Ling Ling

Abstract:

In the Malaysian polytechnic, there are concerns about language proficiency, communicative competence, and employability among Malaysian polytechnic ESL engineering students. This study examined the relationships between communicative competence, language proficiency, and employability using descriptive analysis and inferential statistics. Next, Pearson’s Correlation determines the correlation between communication competence, language proficiency, and employability skills of Malaysian Polytechnic ESL engineering students. The total number of participants was 81 final-year engineering students. The findings revealed high positive correlations between the communicative competence -'I can talk with a friend in English.' and employability skill (r = 0.854, p = .031), also, language proficiency -'I can understand the English songs I listen to' and employability skill (r = 0.887, p = .038). The result is consistent with the theories. The result revealed that for the 81 students, communication competence and language proficiency, and employability skills are firmly and significantly correlated. Thus, it concluded that both communicative competence and language proficiency equally essential to ensure a higher employability rate among Malaysian polytechnic ESL engineering students.

Keywords: communicative competence, employability, language proficiency, Malaysian polytechnic

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66 Engineering Graduates' Employability in the Eyes of Stakeholders: Based on the Survey to 6 Universities and 20 Enterprises in China

Authors: Cui Jun

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By surveying 536 engineering graduates and 232 employers of 6 research-based universities and 20 enterprises in China, this research aims to reveal the perceptions and expectations of engineering curriculum and graduates’ employability by stakeholders. Variation was seen by university and sometimes by engineering major. Overall, however, the satisfaction with courses that promote employability is not high by graduates, and there is a gap between employers’ satisfaction and their expectation. Importantly, students’ satisfaction degree of the curricula enhancing employability and employers’ satisfaction degree of graduates’ employability are significantly lower than employers’ expectation value. Therefore, engineering curriculum reform must take the stakeholders’ demand into account and integrate employability into curricula. These findings provide the empirical basis for the curriculum reform of the National Excellent Engineers Education Program (NE3P) in China.

Keywords: engineering education, employability of graduates, stakeholders, survey

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65 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: competencies, employability, patchwork assessment, threshold concepts

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64 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, industry skills, tourism industry, tourism qualification

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63 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: demographic dividend, life skills, employability, workforce

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62 Embedding Employability Skills in Computer and Information Science Program Curriculum

Authors: Nadezda Pizika

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The paper discusses possible approaches of embedding the development of employability skills in the program curriculum. This paper contains analysis of the problem areas raised by employers regarding new graduates’ readiness to join workforce, the ways of possible improvements, and the actions required from different stakeholders. The case discussed in the paper is related to Computer and Information Science (CIS) Program offered at Higher Colleges of Technology (UAE).

Keywords: curriculum design, employability skills, employers, graduates, education, entrepreneurship

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61 Self-Perceived Employability of Students of International Relations of University of Warmia and Mazury in Poland

Authors: Marzena Świgoń

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Nowadays, graduates should be prepared for serious challenges in the internal and external labor market. The notion that a degree is a “passport to employment” has been relegated to the past. In the last few years a phenomenon in the form of the increasing unemployment of highly educated young people in EU countries, including Poland has been observed. Empirical studies were conducted among Polish students in the scope of the so-called self-perceived employability review. In this study, a special scale was used which consisted of 19 statements regarding five components: student’s perception of university; field of study; self-belief; state of the external labor market; and, personal knowledge management. The respondent group consisted of final-year master’s students of International Relations at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. The findings of the empirical studies were compiled using statistical methods: descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. In general, in light of the conducted studies, the self-perceived employability of the Polish students was not high. Limitations of the studies were discussed, as well as the implications for future research in the scope of the students’ employability.

Keywords: self-perceived employability, students of international relations, university students, students employability

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60 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: curriculum design, change management, employability, teaching exemplars

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59 Employers’ Perspective on Female Graduate Employability in Nigeria

Authors: Temitope Faloye

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In today’s changing job market economy, most employers of labor want employees who are employable and possess relevant skills. Graduates need to possess generic skills due to the continually changing nature of the job market, which requires adaptive coping strategies. Most employers of labor complain that graduates are not employable, which is one of the major factors causing a high rate of graduate unemployment in Nigeria. However, the number of unemployed females is higher than that of unemployed males; hence gender difference is linked to the employability of graduates. The human capital theory is considered an appropriate theory for this study. A qualitative approach will be used to provide answers to the research questions. Therefore, the research study aims to investigate the employers’ perspective on female graduate employability in Nigeria.

Keywords: graduate employability, generic skills, graduate unemployment, gender

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58 Understanding the Factors behind Graduate Employability in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Mohammed Islam

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Graduate employability is a well debated topic by governments, employers, and higher education institutes (HEI) across the world. Much of the focus of these debates have centred around the skills that graduates bring or should bring to the job market, a point echoed by United Arab Emirates (UAE) policy makers and employers. While some research has been carried out on graduates' employability skills, little or no attention has been paid to the forces at play in developing employability policy and its subsequent implementation. The focus of debate has been on a perceived skills gap rather than policy. Recognising a gap in the literature, this paper details a study of UAE employability policy development. Taking a social constructionist approach, this case study views policy as discursive and socially constructed through interactions with key stakeholders. It is within the myriad of interdependent socio-political factors and social practices, particularly power relationships, that this paper explores UAE policy on graduate employability. In doing so, this adds to the debate on graduate employability from the perspective of policy and explores its roots in the interaction between human activity and the ‘system’. Data was collected from two main sources: documentary review and semi-structured interviews. Policies and publicly stated rhetoric on graduate employability were analysed using Critical Discourse Analysis. Semi-structured interviews with representatives from policy makers, HEIs, and employers were reviewed through Thematic Analysis. The theoretical framework for the discussion of findings draws from social practice theories and highlights the factors at play in access to employment for UAE graduates. This case study presents a methodological approach to policy studies that can be applied beyond the context under investigation. Education policy researchers are provided with an opportunity to compare similarities and differences with their own specific contexts.

Keywords: critical discourse analysis, employability, methodology, policy, social constructionism

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57 Employability Skills: Students' Perspectives Post Work Placement Experience

Authors: Mamie Y. Griffin, Pedro Coelhoso

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Employability skills of university graduates remain an ongoing topic for discussion and debate. Numerous studies highlight the expressed concerns of governments and industries about higher education’s ability to develop workforce-ready graduates. An often cited solution is the use of internships to equip students with necessary employability skills. The literature is well documented with studies from the perspectives of multiple entities including employers and university faculty, mostly in the western world. Fewer studies examine the perception of students, and even fewer studies are based on students in Gulf countries. This paper assesses the status of employability skills from the perspective of students within a United Arab Emirates (UAE) institution based on their completion of a semester-long work placement experience. Using a largely qualitative instrument, students reported the essential skills needed in the workplace, classroom activities that most prepared students to use such skills in the workplace, and the various challenges they encountered. Implications for academic and professional practitioners are discussed. Findings and recommendations are informative for curriculum development as well as economic and workforce development agencies.

Keywords: employability skills, work placement experience, Gulf countries, workforce preparedness, work placement

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56 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: artists, employability, entrepreneurship, musicians, skills

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55 Interdependence of Vocational Skills and Employability Skills: Example of an Industrial Training Centre in Central India

Authors: Mahesh Vishwakarma, Sadhana Vishwakarma

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Vocational education includes all kind of education which can help students to acquire skills related to a certain profession, art, or activity so that they are able to exercise that profession, art or activity after acquiring such qualification. However, in this global economy of the modern world, job seekers are expected to have certain soft skills over and above the technical knowledge and skills acquired in their areas of expertise. These soft skills include but not limited to interpersonal communication, understanding, personal attributes, problem-solving, working in team, quick adaptability to the workplace environment, and other. Not only the hands-on, job-related skills, and competencies are now being sought by the employers, but also a complex of attitudinal dispositions and affective traits are being looked by them in their prospective employees. This study was performed to identify the employability skills of technical students from an Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in central India. It also aimed to convey a message to the students currently on the role, that for them to remain relevant in the job market, they would need to constantly adapt to changes and evolving requirements in the work environment, including the use of updated technologies. Five hypotheses were formulated and tested on the employability skills of students as a function of gender, trade, work experience, personal attributes, and IT skills. Data were gathered with the help of center’s training officers who approached 200 recently graduated students from the center and administered the instrument to students. All 200 respondents returned the completed instrument. The instrument used for the study consisted of 2 sections; demographic details and employability skills. To measure the employability skills of the trainees, the instrument was developed by referring to the several instruments developed by the past researchers for similar studies. The 1st section of the instrument of demographic details recorded age, gender, trade, year of passing, interviews faced, and employment status of the respondents. The 2nd section of the instrument on employability skills was categorized into seven specific skills: basic vocational skills; personal attributes; imagination skills; optimal management of resources; information-technology skills; interpersonal skills; adapting to new technologies. The reliability and validity of the instrument were checked. The findings revealed valuable information on the relationship and interdependence of vocational education and employability skills of students in the central Indian scenario. The findings revealed a valuable information on supplementing the existing vocational education programs with few soft skills and competencies so as to develop a superior workforce much better equipped to face the job market. The findings of the study can be used as an example by the management of government and private industrial training centers operating in the other parts of the Asian region. Future research can be undertaken on a greater population base from different geographical regions and backgrounds for an enhanced outcome.

Keywords: employability skills, vocational education, industrial training centers, students

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54 Integrating Generic Skills into Disciplinary Curricula

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

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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: curriculum, employability, generic skills, graduate attributes, higher education, information technology

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53 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: English language proficiency, tertiary education, unemployment problems, employability

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52 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, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, stress

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51 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: company tutors, employability, teaching skills, work experience

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50 The Impact of Human Resources Management on the Job Security of Self-Initiated Expatriates after the Brexit

Authors: Yllka Hysaj, Ylberina Hysaj Arifi

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Recently, with BREXIT taking place, organizations and employees have been affected in the way of job and employment security. Career-oriented human resources management (HRM) practices are likely to facilitate self-initiated expatriates’ adjustment to the host country. This was related to the career security (job security and employment security), which were missing in their home country and seemed to be important elements to adjust to the host country. The aim of this study is to assess whether the perception of career security by Frances self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) have changed in the wake of the referendum result. Quantitative research method will be used, and the data will be collected through electronic questionnaires. Data will be analyzed through Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The study variables will include an adjustment to the host country, HRM practices, employability, and job security. Predicted results consist that career-oriented HRM practices are positively related to the adjustment to the host country, employability, and job security. However, with Brexit, there might be a negative relationship between career-oriented HRM practices and job security.

Keywords: migration, self-initiated expatriates, Brexit, job security

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49 Employability Potential of Differently Abled in the Indian Apparel Industry

Authors: Gunjita Shami, Noopur Anand

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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: apparel sector, differently abled, employability, performance, work-aid

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48 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: consistent language, employability, phonological awareness, balanced curriculum

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47 Impact of Protean Career Attitude on Career Success with the Mediating Effect of Career Insight

Authors: Prabhashini Wijewantha

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This study looks at the impact of protean career attitude of employees on their career success and next it looks at the mediation effect of career insights on the above relationship. Career success is defined as the accomplishment of desirable work related outcomes at any point in person’s work experiences over time and it comprises of two sub variables, namely, career satisfaction and perceived employability. Protean career attitude was measured using the eight items from the Self Directedness subscale of the Protean Career Attitude scale developed by Briscoe and Hall, where as career satisfaction was measured by the three item scale developed by Martine, Eddleston, and Veiga. Perceived employability was also evaluated using three items and career insight was measured using fourteen items that were adapted and used by De Vos and Soens. Data were collected from a sample of 300 mid career executives in Sri Lanka deploying the survey strategy and data were analyzed using the SPSS and AMOS software version 20.0. A preliminary analysis of data was initially performed where data were screened and reliability and validity were ensured. Next a simple regression analysis was performed to test the direct impact of protean career attitude on career success and the hypothesis was supported. The Baron and Kenney’s four steps, three regressions approach for mediator testing was used to calculate the mediation effect of career insight on the above relationship and a partial mediation was supported by the data. Finally theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Keywords: career success, career insight, mid career MBAs, protean career attitude

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46 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, skill, attitude, acquired, required, employability

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45 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: creative industries, curriculum, employability, high education, Istanbul

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44 Graduates Construction of Knowledge and Ability to Act on Employable Opportunities

Authors: Martabolette Stecher

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Introductory: How is knowledge and ability to act on employable opportunities constructed among students and graduates at higher educations? This question have been drawn much attention by researchers, governments and universities in Denmark, since there has been an increases in the rate of unemployment among graduates from higher education. The fact that more than ten thousand graduates from higher education without the opportunity to get a job in these years has a tremendous impact upon the social economy in Denmark. Every time a student graduate from higher education and become unemployed, it is possible to trace upon the person´s chances to get a job many years ahead. This means that the tremendous rate of graduate unemployment implies a decrease in employment and lost prosperity in Denmark within a billion Danish Kroner scale. Basic methodologies: The present study investigates the construction of knowledge and ability to act upon employable opportunities among students and graduates at higher educations in Denmark in a literature review as well as a preliminary study of students from Aarhus University. 15 students from the candidate of drama have been engaging in an introductory program at the beginning of their candidate study, which included three workshops focusing upon the more personal matters of their studies and life. They have reflected upon this process during the intervention and afterwards in a semi-structured interview. Concurrently a thorough literature review has delivered key concepts for the exploration of the research question. Major findings of the study: It is difficult to find one definition of what employability encompasses, hence the overall picture of how to incorporate the concept is difficult. The present theory of employability has been focusing upon the competencies, which students and graduates are going to develop in order to become employable. In recent years there has been an emphasis upon the mechanism which supports graduates to trust themselves and to develop their self-efficacy in terms of getting a sustainable job. However, there has been little or no focus in the literature upon the idea of how students and graduates from higher education construct knowledge about and ability to act upon employable opportunities involving network of actors both material and immaterial network and meaningful relations for students and graduates in developing their enterprising behavior to achieve employment. The Act-network-theory combined with theory of entrepreneurship education suggests an alternative strategy to focus upon when explaining sustainable ways of creating employability among graduates. The preliminary study also supports this theory suggesting that it is difficult to emphasize a single or several factors of importance rather highlighting the effect of a multitude network. Concluding statement: This study is the first step of a ph.d.-study investigating this problem in Denmark and the USA in the period 2015 – 2019.

Keywords: employablity, graduates, action, opportunities

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

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

Abstract:

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: human interaction skills, employability, internships, information technology, higher education

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42 Assessing the Social Impacts of Regional Services: The Case of a Portuguese Municipality

Authors: A. Camões, M. Ferreira Dias, M. Amorim

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In recent years, the social economy is increasingly seen as a viable means to address social problems. Social enterprises, as well as public projects and initiatives targeted to meet social purposes, offer organizational models that assume heterogeneity, flexibility and adaptability to the ‘real world and real problems’. Despite the growing popularity of social initiatives, decision makers still face a paucity in what concerns the available models and tools to adequately assess its sustainability, and its impacts, notably the nature of its contribution to economic growth. This study was carried out at the local level, by analyzing the social impact initiatives and projects promoted by the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha (Câmara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha -CMA), a municipality of 25,000 inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. This work focuses on the challenges related to the qualifications and employability of citizens, which stands out as one of the key concerns in the Portuguese economy, particularly expressive in the context of small-scale cities and inland territories. The study offers a characterization of the Municipality, its socio-economic structure and challenges, followed by an exploratory analysis of multiple sourced data, collected from the CMA's documental sources as well as from privileged informants. The purpose is to conduct detailed analysis of the CMA's social projects, aimed at characterizing its potential impact for the model of qualifications and employability of the citizens of the Municipality. The study encompasses a discussion of the socio-economic profile of the municipality, notably its asymmetries, the analysis of the social projects and initiatives, as well as of data derived from inquiry actors involved in the implementation of the social projects and its beneficiaries. Finally, the results obtained with the Better Life Index will be included. This study makes it possible to ascertain if what is implicit in the literature goes to the encounter of what one experiences in reality.

Keywords: measurement, municipalities, social economy, social impact

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41 Motivators and Barriers to High-Tech Entrepreneurship in the Israeli-Arab Community

Authors: Vered Holzmann, Ramzi Halabi

Abstract:

The current research investigates motivators and barriers to high-tech entrepreneurship in the Israeli-Arab Community. With the aim to exploit the capacity of Israel as a 'start-up nation', we identify the most important aspects to promote integration of Israeli-Arab entrepreneurs in high-tech startups and business companies, thus impact the socio-economic status of the Arab community in Israel. We reviewed the literature on the role of high-tech and entrepreneurship in the Israeli economy, the profile of the Israeli-Arab community with regard to education and employability, and the characteristics of minority entrepreneurship to understand entrepreneurs' intentions, their incentives to choose the entrepreneurial route on one hand and the obstacles that they face on the other hand. Based on the literature review, we conducted an integrated study that included a survey among 73 Israeli-Arabs involved in high-tech entrepreneurship and 16 semi-structured interviews with Israeli-Arab and Jewish entrepreneurs and leaders in the high-tech industry. We analyzed the data to explore personal and social motivating factors to entrepreneurship as well as educational and socio-economical barriers for entrepreneurship. Three major elements were found to be the most influential on Arab high-tech entrepreneurship in Israel: education, financial resources, and strategic-institutional support. The relationship between education and employability that is well-known with regard to general education, requires two additional aspects in the field of high-tech entrepreneurship: education of technology and engineering, and education of business and entrepreneurship. The study findings reveal that the main motivation factors for entrepreneurship are development of creative ideas and improvement of the socio-economic status, while financial-related factors and lack of institutional and governmental support are perceived as impediments to entrepreneurial activities. Financing difficulties are mainly derived from discriminating financial environment and lack of professional networking. The relationship between entrepreneurship and economic growth seems to be clear and simple; thus it is a national interest to encourage entrepreneurship among the Arab community, and especially high-tech entrepreneurship which has a significant role in the economic growth of Israel.

Keywords: high-tech industry, innovation management, Israeli-Arab community, minority entrepreneurship, motivating factors and barriers

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40 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: career education, employability, higher education, japanese university, university education

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39 The Problematic Transfer of Classroom Creativity in Business to the Workplace

Authors: Kym Drady

Abstract:

This paper considers whether creativity is the missing link which would allow the evolution of organisational behaviour and profitability if it was ‘released’. It suggests that although many organisations try to engage their workforce and expect innovation they fail to provide the means for its achievement. The paper suggests that creative thinking is the ‘glue’ which links organisational performance to profitability. A key role of a university today, is to produce skilled and capable graduates. Increasing competition and internationalisation has meant that the employability agenda has never been more prominent within the field of education. As such it should be a key consideration when designing and developing a curriculum. It has been suggested that creativity is a valuable personal skill and perhaps should be the focus of an organisations business strategy in order for them to increase their competitive advantage in the twenty first century. Flexible and agile graduates are now required to become creative in their use of skills and resources in an increasingly complex and sophisticated global market. The paper, therefore, questions that if this is the case why then does creativity fail to appear as a key curriculum subject in many business schools. It also considers why policy makers continue to neglect this critical issue when it could offer the ‘key’ to economic prosperity. Recent literature does go some way to addressing by suggesting that small clusters of UK Universities have started including some creativity in their PDP work. However, this paper builds on this work and proposes that that creativity should become a central component of the curriculum. The paper suggests that creativity should appear in every area of the curriculum and that it should act as the link that connects productivity to profitability rather than being marginalised as an additional part of the curriculum. A range of data gathering methods have been used but each has been drawn from a qualitative base as it was felt that due to nature of the study individual’s thoughts and feelings needed to be examined and reflection was important. The author also recognises the importance of her own reflection both on the experiences of the students and their later working experiences as well as on the creative elements within the programme that she delivered. This paper has been drawn from research undertaken by the author in relation to her PhD study which explores the potential benefits of including creativity in the curriculum within business schools and the added value this could make to their employability. To conclude, creativity is, in the opinion of the author, the missing link to organisational profitability and as such should be prioritised especially by higher education providers.

Keywords: business curriculum, business curriculum, higher education, creative thinking and problem-solving, creativity

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38 Status of Vocational Education and Training in India: Policies and Practices

Authors: Vineeta Sirohi

Abstract:

The development of critical skills and competencies becomes imperative for young people to cope with the unpredicted challenges of the time and prepare for work and life. Recognizing that education has a critical role in reaching sustainability goals as emphasized by 2030 agenda for sustainability development, educating youth in global competence, meta-cognitive competencies, and skills from the initial stages of formal education are vital. Further, educating for global competence would help in developing work readiness and boost employability. Vocational education and training in India as envisaged in various policy documents remain marginalized in practice as compared to general education. The country is still far away from the national policy goal of tracking 25% of the secondary students at grade eleven and twelve under the vocational stream. In recent years, the importance of skill development has been recognized in the present context of globalization and change in the demographic structure of the Indian population. As a result, it has become a national policy priority and taken up with renewed focus by the government, which has set the target of skilling 500 million people by 2022. This paper provides an overview of the policies, practices, and current status of vocational education and training in India supported by statistics from the National Sample Survey, the official statistics of India. The national policy documents and annual reports of the organizations actively involved in vocational education and training have also been examined to capture relevant data and information. It has also highlighted major initiatives taken by the government to promote skill development. The data indicates that in the age group 15-59 years, only 2.2 percent reported having received formal vocational training, and 8.6 percent have received non-formal vocational training, whereas 88.3 percent did not receive any vocational training. At present, the coverage of vocational education is abysmal as less than 5 percent of the students are covered by the vocational education programme. Besides, launching various schemes to address the mismatch of skills supply and demand, the government through its National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 proposes to bring about inclusivity by bridging the gender, social and sectoral divide, ensuring that the skilling needs of socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups are appropriately addressed. It is fundamental that the curriculum is aligned with the demands of the labor market, incorporating more of the entrepreneur skills. Creating nonfarm employment opportunities for educated youth will be a challenge for the country in the near future. Hence, there is a need to formulate specific skill development programs for this sector and also programs for upgrading their skills to enhance their employability. There is a need to promote female participation in work and in non-traditional courses. Moreover, rigorous research and development of a robust information base for skills are required to inform policy decisions on vocational education and training.

Keywords: policy, skill, training, vocational education

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