The term employability has become a common term amongst educators, researchers, and employers. It refers to the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to look for work and continue successfully in a career.
This infographic is based on a study, carried out by Expertise in Labour Mobility to understand how students and graduates feel about their employability. Regarding their expectations from their university, 79% of graduates need help in finding employment. This is striking because first of all, 79% is a fairly large chunk of 100%, and secondly, it means that a large fraction of students are not being given the level of support they expect.
Add to this the employers’ point of view, in which a recent McKinsey study suggested that 39% of companies have problems filling vacancies for skilled labour, and you start to understand that something needs to change.
Moreover, students do not feel employable. Almost half of graduates feel ill-prepared for the world of work. Needless to say, this is not what they had in mind when starting their degree course. A gap between expectations and reality has emerged, in many cases so has the disappointment.
More information from the university on the labour market will ease the transition from student to worker. In fact, 87% of graduates stated that they would like more careers advice. However, 63% of alumni believe that their institution could do better in communicating with them; perhaps improved contact between graduate and institution post-study is the key. Not only would this benefit the graduate, but it would allow universities to keep in touch with their alumni.
Back in 2016, at the EAIE in Liverpool, Nannette Ripmeester organised an employer panel to discuss the key skills that graduates should have to succeed in the labour market. This EAIE blog post provides some interesting insights in employer thinking around employability skills..
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