Employability Skills for TVET Graduates
Business and industry representatives in both developed and developing countries have expressed considerable dissatisfaction with the general level of preparedness of prospective entry-level employees.What skills and traits do employers look for in prospective entry-level employees? What educational practices have experience shown to be effective in passing on employability skills and traits to students?
The primary concern of more than 80 percent of employers is finding workers with a good work ethic and appropriate social behaviour. Appropriate means to many of them: reliable, a good attitude, a pleasant appearance, a good personality.
Employers usually find that they have: (i) unclear direction and goals with very little understanding of their career path; (ii) low self confidence and poor motivation; (iii) low level of academic accomplishment with very inadequate basic skills; (iv) lack of drive and enthusiasm for the work; (v) undeveloped leadership potential; (vi) inadequate preparation for work; (vii) unrealistic salary and benefits expectations.
While most employers expect to train new employees in company-specific procedures and to acquaint them with the behavioural norms, standards, and expectations in their company as well as job-specific technical skills required, they are very clear that the schools should take most of the responsibility for equipping young people with general employability skills.
Employability skills are the attributes of employees, other than technical competence, that employers see as valuable in the actual work place. These skills include reading, basic arithmetic and other basic skills like problem solving, decision making, and other higher-order thinking skills; dependability, a positive attitude, cooperativeness, and other affective skills and traits.
Employability Skills are not job specific, but are skills which cut horizontally across all employment sectors and vertically across all jobs from entry level to chief executive officer. The critical employability skills identified by employers vary considerably in the way they are organized. However, there is a great deal of agreement among the skills and traits identified.
Sadly, more than half of the school graduates leave school without the skills required to find and hold a good job.
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