To evaluate:- how a year two undergraduate's employability skills ands employment prospects are enhanced by undertaking a work -placement module, applicable to all degree programmes within the School of Management, at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff
LLoyd, David William
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.
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When the year two undergraduate students in the Cardiff School of Management commence their assessed compulsory work-placement module, they have an expectation that one of the major benefits of the placement experience will be that they will gain or enhance "employability skills" which will subsequently be essential to their career progression. This dissertation sets out to explore what these employability skills might be, as determined by the student, the employer and the academic team and how the views expressed compare to the latest strategy and policy ideas being put forward by Government, the Higher Education Academy and professional bodies/institutions. The research undertaken was action based and primary in nature using questionnaires and interviews which has provided a reliable and valid approach appropriate to surveying large numbers of respondents. The purpose of the research was to determine how methods of delivery of the placement module can be modified in order to evidence employability skills gained and what student preparation needs to be undertaken to fulfil the requírements of the employer, not just for the workplacement programme, but also looking ahead to the students future career prospects. The research has provided a useful insight into the employers' requirements and whilst there is a recognition of the need for a high level of competence in defined generic skill areas, such as communication, planning and organising and using initiative, the employers, supported by the academics also strongly indicate the need for students to have a positive attitude and to possess attributes such as showing empathy for others. Being enthusiastic and having an enquiring mind are also seen as essential qualities. From the research it has been concluded that students need to be supported not only in the development of new employability skills but perhaps more importantly in having the right attitude and attributes. Action will be taken to "hard wire" or integrate processes into the academic curriculum to ensure these employer requirements are delivered by the student.
MA Education Thesis
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