What Led To Generic Skills On The Agenda, Why And How?

1596 words - 6 pages

What led to Generic skills on the agenda, why and how?According to[ Jones(2001:1)]: 'In the last decade, the concept of a set of generic skills, qualities and attributes that support lifelong learning has become firmly placed on the national and international higher education agenda.' Higher education institutions in the UK, Canada, the USA, South Africa and Australia, in response to external pressures from the employment and government sectors, have been involved in major efforts to improve the quality of graduate outcomes. Whether this effort has been, or indeed should be, driven by educational, economic, political or social factors is a complex issue and one which continues to stimulate considerable debate across the higher education, employment and government sectors. In today's industry, the generic skills become more and more important. [NCVER, (2003)] said that: there is a high demand for generic skills in the workplace. Employers seek to ensure business success by recruiting and retaining employees who have a variety of skills and personal attributes, as well as technical skills. Individuals also need a range of generic skills to form and maintain family and community relationships. So we should study the generic skills as early as possible. Institutional policies and statements of generic attributes have led to changes in the curriculum and pedagogy of both academic departments and learning canters, as universities race to redefine their concept of 'graduate ness' to stake out their market niche. [Jones, J. (2001)] Agreement on definitions is crucial to the development and implementation of generic skills. However, it is also important to recognize that there will probably never be one definitive list of generic skills because they need to be open to review and re-interpretation as the environment changes. [ NCVER, (2003)] It means that generic skills are important because industry need them to remain competitive; however, there are differences between the ways generic skills are defined in various countries.Firstly, the generic skills have been firmly placed on the national and international higher education agenda. Why we do that? Because the generic skills are very important. Why the generic skills are important? Because jobs today require flexibility, initiative and the ability to undertake many different tasks. They are not as narrowly prescribed and defined as in the past and generally they are more service oriented, making information and social skills increasingly important. Employers now focus on adaptation, cost reduction, increased productivity, and new markets, products and services. Employees need to demonstrate teamwork, problem-solving, and the capacity to deal with processes. They should also be able to make decisions, take responsibility and communicate effectively. Proficiency in the broad range of generic skills has become the main requirement for the modern worker. [NCVER, (2003)]University in the western world have,...

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