Why kick the "L" out of "LEarning"? The development of students' employability skills through part-time working
Research shows that, in general, graduate applicants seeking their first career jobs do not possess the personal, transferable and employability skills which employers require, and Dearing has recommended that most HE students should undertake work experience to remedy this limitation. This article describes the Working for Skills project run by Leeds Metropolitan University and several major local employers. Some 20 "skills and attributes", identified primarily from independent research projects, are presented to students in a workfile. The workfile addresses two principal areas: experiential learning, and the use of (principally) work experience to grow the identified skills and attributes. A simple model of experiential learning is presented to help students to analyse their work experiences and build awareness of the identified skills and attributes. The article also reports on pilot trials, student feedback and discusses some of the problems associated with this type of material.