Harnessing the potential of extracurricular opportunities to enhance graduate employability in higher education
Keywords:Extra-curricular activities; employability; leadership; skills; higher education
This paper addresses the emerging theme in the literature that graduates often do not demonstrate the relevant skills to employers in job applications, interviews and in the workplace, and that HEIs should harness the potential of extra-curricular opportunities to enhance employability (Tchibozo, 2007; Griffiths et al., 2017). This study reports on a survey which was distributed to students in voluntary committee roles at one university to garner information around students’ ability to identify the skills gained in their roles that are transferable as employability skills. The students’ level of confidence and readiness to articulate these skills during the job application process was then explored. Results suggest that, while students feel as though they are confident and ready to draw on skills developed in extra-curricular voluntary roles, questions could be raised as to whether their ability to identify and articulate them accurately reflects their level of confidence. Therefore, a workshop and resource have been created as part of the project to help students be able to recognise and articulate the employability skills gained.
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