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Employability in the first degree: The role of work placements on students’ perceptions of graduate employability

Mahmood, L., Slabu, L., Randsley de Moura, G. and Hopthrow, T. (2015). Employability in the first degree: The role of work placements on students’ perceptions of graduate employability. Psychology Teaching Review, 20(2), pp. 126-136.

Abstract

Employers often claim that graduates are not ready for the world of work as they lack employability skills (Archer & Davison, 2008). One policy response to this claim has been to encourage students to undertake a work placement to enhance success in the competitive job market (The Dearing Report, 1997). The present research investigated whether psychology students, who were enrolled on an undergraduate degree programme that included a one-year work placement, understood the advantages and disadvantages of work placements and how they perceived its impact on employability. We present questionnaire data from 49 undergraduates at different stages of their degree programme – pre- and post-placement. Generally, students perceived the employability benefits of the work-placement. However, there were differences in how these were articulated by pre- and post-placement students, with post-placement students able to use more concrete terms. This suggests that there is some development throughout the applied degree, but emphasis needs to be placed on training students how to demonstrate the skills they have developed through the work placement to potential employers.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: employability, work placement, thematic content analysis, psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/16694
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