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Students need better transferable skills

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Universities and employers need to collaborate so students can successfully transition their skills into the workplace; a new study by Edith Cowan University (ECU) has shown.

ECU Centre of Innovative Practice researcher, Dr Denise Jackson surveyed business graduates from all 39 Australian Universities to investigate if the skills they developed at university translated successfully into the workplace.

“The job sector is becoming increasingly competitive for university graduates,” Dr Jackson said.

“In analysing how skills transfer from the university classroom to the practical workplace environment we can ensure our courses give students the best possible chance in the workplace,” Dr Jackson said.

University graduates highlighted the need for employers to be more aware of skill transfer by giving new employees the opportunity to develop and test the skills they have learnt.

 “Some of the ‘conditions of transfer’ identified in the study are available through current graduate programs, but the focus is more on outcomes rather than assisting graduates with capitalising on their learning from university and the process of applying their skills in the workplace,” Dr Jackson said.

“Universities also need to acknowledge certain best practice principles for skills transfer need to be incorporated into learning programs”.

One example of best practice is the ECU Business Edge program, which provides its students with the skills and tools to equip them for life after university.

“At ECU, we have adopted a different approach to teaching business, we believe in the importance of developing employability skills to better prepare graduates for their future career in the workplace,” Dr Jackson said.

“Not only this, we have taken skill transfer into account and do not just assume acquired skills can automatically be performed by graduates when entering the labour market”.

For further information about the Business Edge program visit:

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