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THE CHALLENGES OF EQUIPPING

GRADUATES WITH RELEVANT


EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS
March 2014


Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 2
What is Employability Skills .................................................................................................................. 2
Background ............................................................................................................................................. 2
Current Research .................................................................................................................................... 3
Current Issues ......................................................................................................................................... 3
Implications for Employers ..................................................................................................................... 3
Implications for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) ............................................................................ 4
Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................... 4
Recommendations .................................................................................................................................. 4


Introduction
This Paper provides a blend of current research and issues on the topic of The Challenges
Equipping Graduates with Relevant Employability Skills. It does not aim to provide an
extensive literary works, as the relevant information with this area is vast. Alternatively it
bring some valuable findings from the past few years or so, the main findings focusing on
the United Kingdom.
The paper aims to prompt discussion amongst employers and Higher Education Institutions
and how best to develop employability in graduates further. We will focus on certain areas
to do with the topic:
Background into Graduates employability
Current Research
Current Issues
Implications for employers
Implications for HEI
Recommendations
What is Employability Skills
Employability is a set of achievements skills, understandings and personal attributes
that make graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen
occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy
said Professor Mantz Yorke (2004). Employability is not the same as gaining a graduate job,
rather it implies something about the capacity of the graduate to function in a job and be
able to move between jobs, thus remaining employable throughout their life.
Background
When students completed the respective degrees, it has become more apparent over the
past few years that it is harder for them to get into the job that relate to the degree or to
even get a degree. Almost 50% of graduate take non-graduate jobs as there is no work
available (Allen, 2013). This issue has come since the financial crisis in 2008/2009, the
unemployment rate had steeply risen and do this day are gradually decreasing as the
economic climate improves.


Current Research

The UK government continues to
emphasise the importance of higher
education credentials, at both a social
and individual level. Higher education
credentials have been presented as
crucial for economic development,
particularly in meeting the changing
needs of the knowledge-driven economy
(Bell, 1973; Castells, 2001).
In the Graduate Market report for 2014,
it shows that the vacancies available to
the students upon completing university
is up 8.7% on 2013 which shows there is
more jobs becoming available to
graduates since the big drop in 2008 and
2009.







Current Issues
The current crux of the problem equipping graduates with the relevant employability skills
they require for being successful in getting a job is that universities are no providing enough
help to their students. Students are meant to have short, medium and long term goals, by
having goals, graduates have something to strive for.

Implications for Employers
Students come out of university without industry experience, this is seen as a vital
requirements for graduate as they are expected to understand how a business is run. By
doing this they require the appropriate

Implications for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
More government funding was made available in 2005, this was to help HEI get more
students out on work experience roles. That work experience time that they will gain, helps
students, mature and become more motivated to achieve their goals for success. Their
maturity will also help them progress through the ranks.
However, Public funding overall for 2014-15 will be cut by 125 million more than was
forecast, falling from 4.216 billion as indicated last year to 4.091 billion under the revised
plans. A further drop in funding to 4.008 billion is expected in 2015-16 (Mediafhe, 2014)

Conclusion

Recommendations
For HEIs

References
Bell, D. (1973) The Coming of the Post-industrial Society: a venture in social forecasting. (New York:
Basic Books).
Castells, M. (2001) The University System: engine of development in the new world economy.
Paper presented at the World Bank Seminar on Higher Education and Development, Kuala
Lumpar.

Allen, K. (2013). Half of recent UK graduates stuck in non-graduate jobs, says ONS. [Online]
the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/nov/19/half-
recent-uk-graduates-stuck-jobs-ons [Accessed 4 Mar. 2014]

Mediafhe.com, (2014). Media FHE Hei News Government cuts HE Funding and criticises VCs pay
rises. [Online] Available at: http://www.mediafhe.com/government-cuts-he-funding-and-criticises-
vcs-pay-rises [Accessed 2 May 2014]