Empowering students by enhancing their employability skills

Scott, Fraser J. and Connell, Pauline and Thomson, Linda A. and Willison, Debra (2017) Empowering students by enhancing their employability skills. Journal of Further and Higher Education. ISSN 0309-877X (https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2017.1394989)

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Recognising the importance of graduates being equipped with appropriate employability skills alongside their subject-specific skills, we have had transferable skills training embedded throughout our degree programmes for 30 years. More recently, a specific employability skills module for final-year honours students has been created. This module consists of a programme of activities supporting employability skills, which was delivered to final-year undergraduate students from 2012 to 2015. A key feature in the development and delivery of these activities was the involvement of external experts. Detailed questionnaires have captured student perceptions and thematic analysis has revealed key themes. The module has been perceived to be highly useful, resulting in significant increases in students’ confidence across key areas of employability skills. Furthermore, students may hold skewed perceptions of the relevance of generic employability skills to their chosen career path. This fact should be considered when delivering employability skills programmes.