Is it time to move the employability debate on?
Authors: Dr Paul Cashian, Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching, Coventry University with Prof. Julia Clarke, Pro-Dean for Student Education, Leeds University Business School; and Mark Richardson, Head of Worcester Business School
The employability of our graduates has been a concern across the sector, and a subject of much debate, for a number of years. The Chartered Association of Business Schools recently published a report “21st Century Leaders: building practice into the curriculum to boost employability” which shows that, if anything, employability issues are growing in prominence within Business Schools. The report also reveals that significant resources are being dedicated by business schools into supporting a range of initiatives, projects and research into boosting graduate employability.
The main purpose of this thought piece is to provoke a debate, and hopefully a sharing of practice, about employability amongst the Chartered ABS membership. The thought piece is not meant as a comprehensive review of the literature but highlights the main themes which have underpinned the employability debate over the last 15 to 20 years and suggests that a degree of consensus now exists within each of the themes. The central argument though is that the continuing work, and debate around these themes, has become sterile and repetitive. The thought piece therefore considers how work around employability can be moved on to a more productive stage. A number of areas are also suggested as being in urgent need of consideration by researchers, practitioners and institutional policy makers.
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