We often look back at changing trends in higher education and call them "bandwagons" (temporary fads that everyone rushes to be part of and "jump on"). While much of the hype and jargon of "The Employability Agenda" may fade from the tip of our tongues (or perhaps be subsumed into the norm) in the mid future, there are two fundamental changes that will not: the digital revolution embedded in changing work and economic practices and the “re-globalisation” of the world that this and other politico-economic changes have brought about. These will continue to be part of how we live and work, so tertiary education will need to take its part in supporting employ-ability far beyond either the timing or scope of preparation for initial employment.
Employability is important to local, national and international labour market contexts, parameters and policies. As well as impacting workforces, employability is an essential characteristic of workers. It is very important that employability is understood and enacted as personal employability not just employment of individuals. We have found that employability is defined as much, if not more, by mindset rather than skillset. Part of this mindset involves recognising the unknowns of future work and an even bigger part is recognising our responsibilities as workers and educators lies in shaping our own employability and that of the novice learners and workers in our spaces of influence and communities of practice.
In Education for Employability (Volume 2): Learning for Future Possibilities we continue on from the big agenda discussions of Education for Employability (Volume 1): The Employability Agenda to explore education for employability in a variety of spaces: in the context of higher education as an entrance into the workforce, in joining communities of practice and in the lifelong pursuit of employability – preparing people for a portfolio of careers rather than a job-for-life.
These two books show how educational leaders, educators, industry partners and thought leaders are imagining and addressing the challenges posed by the current and future changes facing our work, practices and workplaces.
Joy Higgs, AM, PhD, Emeritus Professor at Charles Sturt University, Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales and Director of the Education, Practice and Employability Network, Australia.
Part 1: The Future and Employability
1. The Employability Agenda
Geoffrey Crisp, Joy Higgs and Will Letts 2. Practice Futures
Joy Higgs 3. University Employability Agendas, Targets and Strategies
Will Letts 4. Digital Literacy Meets Industry 4.0
Jo Coldwell-Neilson and Trudi Cooper 5. Addressing Key Concerns in Graduate Employability: Changing our Expectations of Universities
Noel Edge, Edmond Fitzgerald and Lesley Willcoxson
Part 2: Education Directions
6. Developing Personal and Population Employability: Understand, Pursue and Manage
James Cloutman and Joy Higgs 7. Pursuing Employability: A Journey More Than a Destination
Will Letts 8. Going Beyond “Getting a Job”: Graduates’ Narratives and Lived Experiences of Employability and Their Career Development
Ruth Bridgstock, Michelle Grant-Iramu, Christine Bilsland, Matalena Tofa, Kate Lloyd and Denise Jackson 9. Marketing Graduate Employability: The Language of Employability in Higher Education
Dawn Bennett, Elizabeth Knight, Aysha Divan and Kenton Bell 10. Taking a Whole of University Approach to Employability
Shirley Alexander, Julieanne Cutrupi and Brett Smout 11. Building Student Employability from Day One
Leoni Russell and Judie Kay 12. Reimagining University Curriculum for a Disrupted Future of Work: Partnership Pedagogy
Simon Barrie and Jenny Pizzica
Part 3: Teaching and Learning Employability
13. Pursuing Employability through Generalist and Specialist Degree Programs: Australian Perspectives
Deanne Gannaway and Karen Sheppard 14. The Place of Student Assessment in Pursuing Employability
David Boud and Rola Ajjawi 15. Career Services: Roles beyond Job Seeking
Mark Young 16. Edupunks and Universities: Employability Engagement Possibilities
Joy Higgs 17. Understanding Employability in the Creative Industries
Noel Maloney 18. Learning to be Employable: The UNSW Hero Program
Anatoli Kovalev 19. Learning for Employability in the Workplace: Developing Graduate Work Capabilities
Lina Markauskaite and Narelle Patton 20. Teaching Resilience and Self-management Skills: Fostering Student Psychological Wellbeing for Future Employability
Part 4: Reflections
21. Reimagining Careers, Contributions and Professional Development in Later Life
Nita Cherry, Janet Gregory, Alison Herron and Helen McKernan 22. Where to Next with the Employability Agenda?
Geoffrey Crisp, Joy Higgs and Will Letts
Notes on Contributors
All interested in employability, work, universities, graduate attributes, employer expectations, and trends in work.