This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Students and employability


For those


in higher education, it is important that


developing employability skills sits alongside academic study. This can be achieved in the classroom, where basic employability skills are taught, or through hands-on


experience…


The E-factor: Cracking employability in a digital age


We are living through a period of intense and rapid change, a ‘digital revolution’ of access to information and yet it remains a truism that “Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice”. Anton Chekhov the physician and author stated this over 150 years ago and it remains as true now as it did then, particularly in the context of the challenges facing both employers and graduates in today’s job market, explores Anthony Walters, Policy Manager for ACCA


education system create tomorrow’s employees? With employers talking about a skills crisis and young people still seeking jobs, how do we go about cracking the ‘E’-factor puzzle?


‘E


Before we go on to look at potential solutions we need to be clear on the challenge. In many ways, the issue is relatively simple. There are growing concerns amongst employers and politicians that people entering and navigating the job market do not have the right skills to ‘hit the ground running’. On the graduate side, expectations for high quality employment and fast progression are arguably higher than ever. There, therefore, appears to be a disconnect with the expectations of employers and graduates.


18 Graduate Recruiter | www.agr.org.uk


mployability’ has become the buzzword for politicians and policy makers: how does our


Here is where the elusive ‘employability’ variable comes into play. It is about bridging the gap between education and employment. For employers, there is a concern that new recruits lack some of the basic ‘work readiness’ skills that they expect. CBI members have cited basic numeracy and literacy skills as lacking amongst young people stepping out of education and into the workplace. Softer skills, such as self-management and attitude-to-work are also often cited as areas of weakness amongst those entering the jobs market.


So how do we ensure graduates and others coming out of full time education are armed with the skills that employers expect? The answer is complex, but the challenge is not insurmountable.


Firstly, the gap between education and employment needs to be narrowed and this process can begin much earlier


than university. Early exposure to the workplace plays a huge role in preparing young people for working life. Work experience has not always had the best PR and its value is often underrated, but even a short and relatively informal experience of the workplace can help give individuals a better understanding of the skills and behaviours needed by employers. It is therefore encouraging that the government is committing to providing work placement opportunities for all 14-16 year olds.


For those in higher education, it is important that developing employability skills sits alongside academic study. This can be achieved in the classroom, where basic employability skills are taught, or through hands-on experience – and both have a role to play, which requires students, higher education institutions and employers to work together.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32