Fit for Work and Fit for Life: Embedding Employability Skills into Mainstream Provision in Higher Education
The conference theme: Educational Values and Values in Education, proposes a "new kind of learning", which values education both for the purposes of preparing learners for society and for developing learners as individuals. As we move ever closer towards a knowledge society, Higher Education is expected to produce graduates who are both highly knowledgeable in their subject area, and able to respond to challenges that bear little if any relation to their subject knowledge. The challenge, as we see it, is to meet the needs of both employers and learners; to cultivate in our students skills for work and skills for life.
Thus the purpose of this paper is to report on work in progress on developing students’ transferable/employability skills through embedding these into our core provision. Students are engaged in reflection and action planning, in portfolio building (personal and professional) and in learning how to maximise their career opportunities, and are assessed in relation to their acquisition of skills in these areas.
We recently conducted a survey into students’ experience of and satisfaction with our approach, with a view to informing its development. Early indications suggest that there is room from improvement, but that overall levels of satisfaction and perception of benefit are high.
Keywords: Transferable, Employability, Reflection, Action Planning, Skills for Life, Evaluation
Senior Lecturer Course Leader, Development and Society, Sheffield Hallam University
Lecturer, Development and Society, Sheffield Hallam University