TUFNELL, CAVE and NEALE, 1998. "Employability skills" - the contribution made by making activities. IDATER 1998 Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University
This paper draws on the findings of an on-going research project, funded by the Crafts Council 'Learning through Making' project and the Technology Enhancement Programme, into the competencies and capabilities which young people develop by being involved in making activities. Phase one was reported at IDATER 1997. The second phase of this research sought to establish the skills which employers look for when recruiting staff and compare these with the outcomes from phase 1.
Employers' views were elicited via a structured interview using a variety of techniques. Forty employers took part in the process with 21% coming from the manufacturing sector, 47% from the service sector and 17% from the public sector. Interviews were undertaken with senior staff with responsibility for staff recruitment, who at the time of the interviews were unaware of the focus of the research. Key quantitative data demonstrate the hierarchical manner in which employers view competencies and capabilities and as in phase 1 they are categorised into three discrete classes: practical competencies, cognitive abilities and personal attributes.
Finally the paper compares the outcomes of phase 1 and phase 2 and demonstrates that the practical skills acquired via making activities in schools are highly valued by employers.