Transferable skills: the employer-student dichotomy

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


There is an increasing expectation that higher education ought to prepare graduates for the workplace (BIS, 2015). However, more than half of employers cite a lack of soft skills, particularly team work and communication, as a prime reason for a lack of preparedness for employment (BCC, 2016). Skill development can be integrated into a number of curriculum activities and aligning this with assessment can ensure that students get feedback on aptitude and ability. Collaborative assignments can enable the acquisition of these indemand transferable skills (O'Shea & Fawns, 2017) however, these forms of assessment are not favoured by students (Machemer & Crawford, 2007) who instead prefer written coursework (Bartram & Bailey, 2010). Academics' learning activity choices may now be driven by the increased emphasis being placed on student satisfaction (Bevitt, 2015) thus limiting the range of soft skill development that students gain feedback on. This paper specifically explores staff experiences of engaging students in assessed group work and how the emerging narrative exposes the disparate views of students and employers regarding graduate skill sets.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2018
Event15th Enhancement Conference: Evaluation, Evidence & Enhancement: Inspiring Staff & Students - Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jun 20187 Jun 2018


Conference15th Enhancement Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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