Employability Skills Perceived by Employers and Students

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1.1 Problem Statements

GET (Graduate Employment and Training) reports suggest that most employers find it difficult to recruit suitable number of graduates who can communicate while working in a team, analyse problem or manage their individual learning of new skills (Holden and Jameson, 2002). One of the most direct causes to this problem is the scarcity of quality graduates in the labour market, the graduates are accused for not being able to suit the graduates’ labour market needs. Employers recognize the number of technical skills possessed by graduates but not that of the non-technical skills (some call it employability skills) as the employers realize that non-technical skills are not strongly embraced by graduates.

Ultimately, most of employers are looking for people who are proactive rather than reactive and want graduates who can use higher level skills such as analysis, critique, synthesis and multi layered communication to facilitate innovative teamwork in catalyzing the transformation of their organization (Harvey et al, 1997 cited in Holden and Jameson, 2002).

1.2 Research Objectives

1. To identify the skills that are claimed to be essential for employment by employers in 5 journals [ Nguyen et al (2005), Cassidy (2006), Quek (2005), Nabi (2003) and Stephens, Hamblin (2006)].

2. To identify the important employability skills perceived by students in only Nguyen et al. (2005) and Quek (2005).

Dealing with the complaints arising from employees highlighting the lack of employability skills among graduates, there is a need to find out what are the skills that actually required from

3. To gain an understanding on the labour market trend from 5 journals [ ( Quek (2005),

Nguyen et al (2005), Nabi (2003), Cassidy (2006) and Cranmer (2006) ].

Gaining an insight into the labour market trend can ignite awareness among students about the high demand for labour but low supply of quality labour. This can inspire students to upgrade themselves in order to suit the labour market and thus ease the recruitment of qualified fresh graduates.


2.1 Introduction
With reference to the research objective, 6 journals, each containing a primary research was reviewed. Some terms found in journals are first defined in the review, then the relevant theory, review on findings in all journals and limitations of all researches.

2.2 Background definition of terms
Employability skills are those basic skills necessary for getting, keeping, and doing well on a job. These are the skills, attitudes and actions that enable workers to get along with their fellow workers and supervisors besides making sound, critical decisions. Unlike occupational or technical skills, employability skills are generic in nature rather than job specific and cut across all industry types, business sizes, and job levels from the entry-level worker to the senior-most position (Cassidy, 2006).

The employability skill can be branched into 3 different categories, namely intellectual, basic or core and personal skills (Nabi, 2003). The intellectual skills let students analyze, think critically, evaluate and synthesis. First, examples of intellectual skills are critical analysis, problem solving, research method, entrepreneurial mind and creativity. Considered the most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires modulation and control of more routines or fundamental skills. For instance, with this skill, the company can narrow down the problems which use the brainstorming and to determine which strategic to help the firm to save cost or think critically, act logically and evaluate the circumstances to make decision and solve problems.

Second, although the academic skill level required by some entry-level jobs may be low, basic academic skills remain crucial for high job performance. When...
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