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Teaching essential employability skills   lindsey fair
 

Teaching essential employability skills lindsey fair

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From an employer's perspective this study highlights the need for a shift in leadership of who's driving the essential employability skills (EES) agenda from governments and institutions to employers ...

From an employer's perspective this study highlights the need for a shift in leadership of who's driving the essential employability skills (EES) agenda from governments and institutions to employers and students. Success with student-demanded career placements, especially those in hyper-competitive marketplaces, are proving to be
more related to EES than to the program of study. A variety of resources are being directed to teaching employability skills at many post-secondary institutions; however, no significant EES gap improvements have been noted in the last decade.
Through a qualitative study using open-ended interview, this research sheds light on what EES gaps exist among employers, who should lead the development of EES, and how best youth entering the labour market should develop the EES they will need to succeed.

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  • About the Study

Teaching essential employability skills   lindsey fair Teaching essential employability skills lindsey fair Presentation Transcript

  • Teaching essential employability skills 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA A Qualitative Study from the Employer’s Perspective
  • Where the study started…. A decade after governments, employers and post-secondary institutions established a employability skills (EES) significant gaps still exist. (Stuckey & Monroe, 2013) 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA core set of essential
  • 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA 1. What essential employability skills (EES) as defined by the provincial government are not being met. 2. Why is the current model not working? 3. Whose responsibility is it to address any gaps: faculty, students or employers hiring students and graduates? 4. What are the employer's roles in ensuring graduates obtain the essential employability skills they require (if any)? 5. What does the research suggest in terms of improving the model?
  • To many employers the discipline of study doesn’t matter but rather the ability for employees to make decisions, handle complex information & to communicate effectively does matter. 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA What was learned...
  • competitive labour market are proving to be more directly related to EES than to their program of study. 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA Success with student demanded career placements, especially those in a hyper-
  • 6. The responsibility for teaching EES needs to shift from teachers and institutions to students and employers. 6 Main Themes Emerged 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA 1. Gaps are where the confusion starts. 2. Defining the real gaps is important as they aren’t necessarily the ones reported. 3. EES are hard to teach, in fact they may not even be teachable. 4. School is probably not the best place to teach EES. 5. If schools are going to teach EES then they need to do it through real work = Student Work should be Real Work.
  • 1. Gaps are where the confusion starts. 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA Graduates may have a hard time meeting employers’ expectations due to contradictions in desirable EES when hiring new graduates compared to their identified shortfalls in EES when employing new graduates.
  • 2. Defining the real gaps is important as they aren’t necessarily the ones reported. 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA Two significant gaps that are not detailed within the official EES as published by the MTCU but were repeatedly cited by employers in this study are time management and drive. In fact, 73% stated that the number one EES shortfall was time management.
  • Overall, 36% said they believed EES cannot be taught in the classroom alone. Most believed that EES were developed best through ongoing experience, with 82% suggesting that developing EES must be through self-directed learning. One participant, P6, deemed that graduates that start out with a high degree of EES see little improvement to these skills with gained experience and that the same was true for those with extremely low EES; they argued that the development of EES will only be affective with those in the middle. This begs the question then, are EES really required for first careers or should employers accept that new graduates may not have all of the EES, but instead will develop them in the workplace? 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA 3. EES are hard to teach, in fact they may not even be teachable.
  • 4. School is probably not the best place to teach EES. 82% believe that employers are the ones to teach EES whereas only 25% selected schools to teach EES.
  • 5. If schools are going to teach EES then they need to do it through real work = Student Work should be Real Work. Within real-life based work, internships and an on-campus agency were favored methods for delivery. 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA When employers were asked what they believed would be the best methods for teaching EES they strongly supported workbased learning above all other methods. 55% of participants preferred real-life work for developing EES.
  • 6. Most Importantly, the responsibility for teaching EES needs to shift Students will have to take a much larger leadership role in their own EES development; in fact, 73% agreed this to be the case. Limited resources from the employment sector (Stuckey et al., 2013), a competitive marketplace (Andrews et al., 2008) and the need for developing potentially unteachable skills, are all contributing factors as to why self-directed learning may need to be the focal point for EES and not the classroom. At the same time as students step up to the plate, so must employers. 86% of participants in this study agreed that employers must be the ones to lead when it comes to developing EES. 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA from teachers and institutions to students and employers.
  • 2013 Lindsey Fair, MBA This Applied Research Project was submitted to Cape Breton University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Administration in Community Economic Development. The full qualitative study included eleven open-ended interviews with employers. The research questions were narrowly defined to the Advertising and Marketing Communications Management program at St. Lawrence College (SLC) in Kingston, Ontario. To read the full paper and reference list visit: www.lindseyfair.ca