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Fostering Student Work Readiness – a University Case Study

14 pagesPublished: October 23, 2017

Abstract

Student work readiness relates to the acquisition of relevant skills and knowledge which enable students to make meaningful contributions to industry, and assist them in their transition from student to practitioner. An individual’s smooth transition into the workforce translates into higher levels of interactions in their workplace, ensuing in benefits for both the employee and the employer. In the built environment, employees are known to experience high levels of work-related stress, exacerbating the need for built environment professionals to be well prepared for the workforce. While work readiness is typically reserved for graduates who have completed their program of study, there has been a notable increase in built environment undergraduates combining work and study prior to graduation. This trend challenges universities to consider that these students need to be work ready prior to completion of their studies. Research notes that student work readiness can be attained through collaboration between universities, students and industry. This study uses the newly conceptualised work readiness model, known as The Life Buoy model, to explore the ways in which one Australian university collaborates with industry to i.) foster the development of work ready characteristics in built environment students; and, ii.) apply university-based initiatives to underpin the development of work ready characteristics. Analysis of course-related documents classified work readiness initiatives at the university into the eight components of the Life Buoy model, suggesting that it may be a useful framework to guide universities to better work with industry in designing and assessing their work ready initiatives.

Keyphrases: built environment, Industry involvement, student perspective, university initiatives, work readiness

In: Marsha Lamb (editor). AUBEA 2017: Australasian Universities Building Education Association Conference 2017, vol 1, pages 196--209

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