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Employability – A Question of Responsibility

By John English and Chris Ireland


Concerns have long been raised about the inadequacies demonstrated by graduates when they are placed into the working environment (e.g. American Accounting Association 1986) and the difficulties that universities face in equipping graduates for professional practice (CPA Australia, 2002). A much greater focus is now being placed on the topic of employability and the significance Higher Education plays in readiness of graduate’s for the workplace (Surridge, 2008). \ud \ud After due consideration of these issues, a 1st year Business School module has embedded both academic and vocational skills into a programme of personal and professional development. Using a series of employability competences (Kubler and Forbes, 2006) students undertake a series of projects and e-based activities either individually or in groups. These learning and teaching experiences use formative and summative assessments (or an iterative combination of both), to engage the students in activities that persuade and / or allow them to consider, evaluate and monitor their development as they attempt to become reflective practitioners. \ud \ud Based on the evidence gained the module leader and academic development tutor are both encouraged by the numbers of students who have recognised the progress they have made in developing their own employability competences. The presentation will report on the following areas: -\ud 1. Examples of the types of exercises included in the module content,\ud 2. Students’ engagement with the module content,\ud 3. Consideration of examples of their reflections, attitudes and development throughout the module journey and\ud 4. Reviewing the preliminary results of where the students feel the responsibility for employability should be positioned during their journey from education to the graduate career they aspire to

Topics: H1, HD28
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