Employer Concepts of Graduate Employability

Grant type: Research
Round: Research grant 2008
Amount awarded £8,668.15
Completed: December 2009
Leader(s): Dr Geoffrey Hinchliffe
Organisation: University of East Anglia-Continuing Education
Contact Email: g.hinchliffe@uea.ac.uk
Contact phone: 01603 593735
Start Date: 1 January 2009
End Date: 30 October 2009
Interim report received: 14 May 2009
Final report received: 11 December 2009
The project aims to research employer perceptions of graduate employability. The HE understanding of employer perception is currently framed in terms of key skills and personal qualities which are then reflected back into degree programmes. There has been insufficient recent systematic research undertaken into employer expectations of graduates (for example, to what extent do employers operate with a concept of ‘graduate identity’). . Moreover, it is often assumed that employer perceptions are the same across sectors, location and size, whereas given the diversity of employers this assumption seems questionable. Employability strands in current degree programmes may therefore not be as effective as they could be. The research, in particular, aims to test the efficacy of current skills discourse. If employability for employers involves more than key skills the research aims to identify this and to make recommendations concerning the employability considerations that can be incorporated into degree programmes. It will also aim at identifying any ‘employability gap’ which sets the limits to what HE can do in developing employability. Project Organisation : The project will be managed collaboratively by Adam Longcroft (Director of Teaching and Learning, School of Education, UEA) and Geoff Hinchliffe (Associate Tutor, School of Education, UEA)