Do employability skills really matter in the graduate labour market? The case of business and management graduates
Wilton, N. (2011) Do employability skills really matter in the graduate labour market? The case of business and management graduates. Work, Employment and Society, 25 (1). pp. 85-100. ISSN 0950-0170
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0950017010389244
Two dominant rationales are offered by UK policymakers for the continued expansion of higher education: to service the high-skill labour requirements of a knowledge economy, and to increase educational and employment opportunities for under-represented groups. The discourse of employability connects these two rationales in a simplistic manner. Individual employability is described as both the means by which to obtain and maintain high-quality employment and to eradicate the social reproduction of inequality. However, evidence drawn from a survey of graduate careers suggests that for a cohort of recent business and management graduates, the relationship between employability and employment is far from straightforward.The data suggest that traditional labour market disadvantage still appears to be an impediment to achievement, regardless of the extent to which graduates develop employability skills during their undergraduate studies.
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