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Developing 'employagility': the 3Es case for live-client learning

Developing 'employagility': the 3Es case for live-client learning
Developing 'employagility': the 3Es case for live-client learning
Purpose - This paper reviews live-client learning activities in Higher Education, highlighting a lack of multi-stakeholder evaluation of ‘learning by doing’ pedagogies in current literature. It extends existing discussion of employability outcomes, dominated by findings from larger organisations, towards arguably, a more meaningful concept: “employagility”; whereby graduates engage in ‘agile’ life-long skills development, through exposure to learning within small to medium sized enterprise (SME), enhancing potential to contribute to local and wider economies.Design/methodology/approach - Findings from in-depth, semi-structured interviews and reflective learning journals, captured from triangulated perspectives, presented as the ‘3Es’: Employers, Educators and Engagers (in this case, undergraduate Marketing students).Findings - Students identified involvement in “real” live client projects, applying knowledge learned in the classroom to solve a business problem, enabled them to develop skills demanded by employers. Clients noted how student work exceeded expectations, providing tangible outputs and innovative ideas for their business, even through limited periods of interaction. Educators explained how relatively simple changes to curricula and extra-curricular activities can enable the development of SME-relevant ‘agile’ graduates.Originality/value - With SMEs at the forefront of Government programmes to lead economic recovery, it is imperative higher education institutions (HEIs) recognise the need for development of appropriately ‘agile’ graduates. This paper contributes a new 3Es model illustrating mutual benefits of collaboration, proposing a “competence-employagility” continuum.
employability, work based learning, live client projects, higher education, marketing, SME, employagility
2042-3896
181-195
Fletcher-Brown, Judith
ec19257e-d2b1-4c4b-a5d9-e9fdaf0bfe98
Knibbs, Karen
b8833b53-4684-49cc-b095-dc29c0523396
Middleton, Karen Zona
50b8579a-ca47-4efa-a4b0-65bc0e8c7348
Fletcher-Brown, Judith
ec19257e-d2b1-4c4b-a5d9-e9fdaf0bfe98
Knibbs, Karen
b8833b53-4684-49cc-b095-dc29c0523396
Middleton, Karen Zona
50b8579a-ca47-4efa-a4b0-65bc0e8c7348

Fletcher-Brown, Judith, Knibbs, Karen and Middleton, Karen Zona (2015) Developing 'employagility': the 3Es case for live-client learning. Higher Education Skills and Work Based Learning, 5 (2), 181-195. (doi:10.1108/HESWBL-05-2014-0011).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Purpose - This paper reviews live-client learning activities in Higher Education, highlighting a lack of multi-stakeholder evaluation of ‘learning by doing’ pedagogies in current literature. It extends existing discussion of employability outcomes, dominated by findings from larger organisations, towards arguably, a more meaningful concept: “employagility”; whereby graduates engage in ‘agile’ life-long skills development, through exposure to learning within small to medium sized enterprise (SME), enhancing potential to contribute to local and wider economies.Design/methodology/approach - Findings from in-depth, semi-structured interviews and reflective learning journals, captured from triangulated perspectives, presented as the ‘3Es’: Employers, Educators and Engagers (in this case, undergraduate Marketing students).Findings - Students identified involvement in “real” live client projects, applying knowledge learned in the classroom to solve a business problem, enabled them to develop skills demanded by employers. Clients noted how student work exceeded expectations, providing tangible outputs and innovative ideas for their business, even through limited periods of interaction. Educators explained how relatively simple changes to curricula and extra-curricular activities can enable the development of SME-relevant ‘agile’ graduates.Originality/value - With SMEs at the forefront of Government programmes to lead economic recovery, it is imperative higher education institutions (HEIs) recognise the need for development of appropriately ‘agile’ graduates. This paper contributes a new 3Es model illustrating mutual benefits of collaboration, proposing a “competence-employagility” continuum.

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More information

Published date: 5 May 2015
Keywords: employability, work based learning, live client projects, higher education, marketing, SME, employagility

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427803
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427803
ISSN: 2042-3896
PURE UUID: bbd4cd41-b4f7-4c2e-b57b-f7f2704f4416

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 09 Nov 2021 14:53

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Contributors

Author: Judith Fletcher-Brown
Author: Karen Knibbs
Author: Karen Zona Middleton

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