Employability skills : closing the gap between employers' expectation and satisfaction

Latifah Abdol Latif, and Ramli Bahroom, (2014) Employability skills : closing the gap between employers' expectation and satisfaction. In: Seminar Kebangsaan Pembelajaran Sepanjang Hayat 2014, 1-2 December 2014, Kuala Lumpur.

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Abstract

In this new age of globalization, higher education plays an increasingly important role in preparing a workforce which meets the rapidly changing industry needs. There is now a critical need to re-examine the function of tertiary education such that it not only caters to fresh school-leavers but of equal importance, provide opportunities for the further re-skilling and up-skilling of people who are already employed. Open and distance learning (ODL) higher education institutions are able to contribute significantly to lifelong learning efforts for these working adults, however, these institutions have constantly been regarded as ‘the lower quality alternative’ with their flexible entry policy and flexible delivery and learning modes. This paper examines the extent to which Open University Malaysia, the country's first and premier ODL university trains and develops its graduates to meet employers' expectations with regard to the different types of skills required at the workplace. Printed questionnaires were sent via postal mail to employers of the December 2013 graduates of the Bachelor degree programmes. Responses of 109 out of a total of 600 (18.2%) employers were analysed using quadrant and gap analysis for four dimensions of employability skills namely, Knowledge and Understanding, General Qualities, General Skills and Specialized Skills. Quadrant analysis indicates that General Qualities fall in the strength quadrant, followed by General Skills, but to a lesser extent. Specialized Skills and Knowledge and Understanding were placed in the low priority quadrant. In the overall evaluation, 90.8% of employers were “satisfied” and “very satisfied” with employee’s knowledge and skills; 59.6% indicated that general performance of the OUM graduates are “better” and “much better” compared to others and 89.0% are likely to employ graduates from OUM. The positive findings serve as evidence on the success of OUM in fulfilling its role in enhancing general qualities and skills which are synonymous to lifelong learning skills expected by employers. (Abstract by authors)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Employability skills, general qualities, general skills, knowledge and understanding, specialized skills, lifelong learning, higher education, human capital development
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Insitute of Quality, Innovation and Research
Depositing User: Shahril Effendi Ibrahim
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 11:13
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2014 11:13
URI: http://library.oum.edu.my/repository/id/eprint/957

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