Conceptualizing Learning and Employability “Learning and Employability Framework”
- Erabaddage Sumanasiri
- Mohd Ab Yajid
- Ali Khatibi
AbstractExtensive studies have been done on employability and the factors that lead to employability. Previous studies have focused on career development programs, internships, work experience programs, soft-skill development programs, and even university admission criteria which can be considered external factors to university student learning experience. Focus on these external factors and their influence on employability appears to have taken attention away from the core function of university education, “learning”. Learning done in universities has been the focus of many studies but it’s difficult to find consensus due to different learning models and approaches considered. Learning and employability are clearly supportive constructs but this relationship appears to be under represented and lacks clarity. Present study overcomes this issue by introducing a framework that clearly represents learning and employability in a manner that is both easy to understand while providing necessary theoretical support. The “Learning and employability framework” is at attempt to overcome the limitations of popular employability models which either lacks operational clarity or simplicity. The model has identified new dimensions of employability which were not considered in previous studies and links learning process, learning environment and learning outcomes to employability. Extensive review of literature on employability and learning revealed two new factors, namely; university reputation and learning outcomes and their influence on graduate employability. While learning outcomes appear to mediate the relationship between lower-tier employability skills and employability, university reputation appear to moderate learning outcome and employability. The “learning and employability framework” can be considered as a timely and relevant study since its simple enough to be understood by students, parents, employers and faculty while providing the required operational clarity and theoretical support for research community. The framework provides direction to those looking to design curricula and pedagogic approach to maximize employability.
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