Development of transferable skills with part-time HE students in engineering: employer case study

Melville, J, 2014. Development of transferable skills with part-time HE students in engineering: employer case study. MPhil, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

Transferable skills, of self-development, self-management, problem solving, communication and team working, are essential for entry to the engineering workforce (where they are often termed "employability skills") and for career progression therein. This study covered the first two cohorts of an employer-specific higher education programme for technical employee development, over a three-year period. None of the participants, or their managers, were familiar with reflection as a learning tool and developing this, in conjunction with interventions to develop and appraise participants’ transferable skills, evidenced considerable improvements in their confidence in their self-perceived skills. Other than demonstrating transferable skills in a context-dependent scenario, and project work was integral to the programme of study, confidence is considered a valid proxy for actual transferable skill. All the students who participated demonstrated improvements in their transferable skills. This was achieved through reflection and also through various valid simulation activities and their own workplace experience. None of the students had given any consideration to the concept of transferable skills prior to the inception of the programme. All the managers who participated expressed confidence that their own career progression route had been the most effective one for attaining their current level. They, too, had never explicitly considered transferable skills for the workplace other than as knowledge gained through direct experience. The case study, bounded as it was within an approach to employer-bespoke education which is growing within the engineering sector, illustrates clearly that project-based simulation, providing it is valid and sector-relevant, is an effective means to develop transferable skills for progression and development within the engineering profession, if coupled with reflection.

Item Type: Thesis
Description: The thesis consists of 3 modules. The title, date and abstract given are for module 3.
Creators: Melville, J.
Date: July 2014
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 26 May 2016 09:02
Last Modified: 26 May 2016 09:02
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27889

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