Enhancing human resource management graduate employability through work integrated learning
Paadi, Kelebogile Mary
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Orientation - This study was conducted to investigate whether WIL can enhance HRM graduate employability. There are contending conclusions on the rate of unemployment in South Africa especially among young graduates. Research has shown different results; some findings conclude that levels of graduate employability have gone down and some say it has gone up, particularly the SAGDA findings. There are professions that are in oversupply and there is less demand for them in the labour market, among them the Human Resource Management Profession. Higher education takes the heat from all sides for not producing a high calibre of employable graduates who can contribute to the economy as their primary role is to generate knowledge. Employers are steadfast in their need for work experience and generic skills before employing graduates, so the question is do work integrated learning programmes contribute to finding a solution to this problem? Can they assist graduates on building their employability assets? Research Purpose - The study aimed at finding out which graduate attributes are most desirable to employers especially for HRM graduates and can they acquire those skills through WIL. Motivation of the study - HR is a broad field and the practitioners have a lot to deliver seeing that they are the custodians of human capital in the workplace. The type of skills they should have and how they are to achieve them must be explored. Research Methodology - The study used a qualitative method and data was collected using semi structured interviews with open ended questions. A list of questions was drawn up for different respondents and the sample was made up of academics, employers and graduates and thematic analysis was used. Main findings - The study found out that generic skills (for example -interpersonal skills, critical and analytical thinking, problem solving, leadership) are the most sought after in the workplace as they enhance application of the technical skills and that higher education must improve on their contribution towards producing employable graduates.
- Humanities