2012 Teaching employability: reflection and change

David Egan, John Perry and Jane Tattersall

The Starting Point: Review of EFHTM ( Events ,Food, Hospitality, Tourism Management)  programme – part of review focus groups with employers to identify strengths & weaknesses. This identified gaps in employability skills particularly in soft employability skills.

Decision to review the teaching of and which employability skills should be delivered within the EFHTM program. 

Stage1: Academic with an interest in employability skills asked to review the literature and develop a framework for identifying which skills and where they should be developed. This framework we refer to as the employability matrix. Key skill gaps numeracy, IT and soft skills e.g. telephone communication

Stage2: Agreement of key elements of employability development: adoption of   Pool & Sewell (2007) The Key of Employability’ as the pedagogic philosophical approach to the development of employability skills within the programme, the detail of skills to be based on the employability matrix; skills to be developmental over the 3 or 4 years of the degree, modules to include an employability statements to be built in module assessments.

Stage3: Application to level 4, review &  replacement of   what was a mixed academic & employability skills module to one with a much stronger focus on employability skills Developing Your Management Skills (DMS) , with introduction of skill, then passed onto another module for assessment, the assessment feedback then being brought back into DMS for a reflective assessment. Other modules e.g. finance are reviewing and changing their content to reflect the new employment priorities. 

In this paper we would like to report on progress and some of the challenges faced and overcome in taking employability to the next level from theme to an integral part of the learning experience. We are currently implementing stage 3 . The authors have involved in the teaching of employability skills from several different perspectives both within and outside Higher Education.

A4 (FU05, FU37) 11.00