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Article

Higher Education and Employability Skills: Barriers and Facilitators of Employer Engagement at Local Level

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Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) and DINAMIA’CET, 1649-026 Lisboa, Portugal
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University of Minho, Instituto de Ciências Sociais and CECS, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eleanor Dommett
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020051
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 25 January 2021 / Accepted: 27 January 2021 / Published: 30 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
This research examines the barriers and facilitators to employers’ engagement with higher education institutions. The data were collected through interviews with a set of employers (n = 19) in the Northern region of Portugal, V.N.de Famalicão, in 2019. We begin by exploring employers’ engagement activities as a potential solution to address local-level skill problems. Empirical evidence suggests that the engagement activities are mostly passive as firms use higher education largely as a recruitment channel. The differences in organizational goals and culture are the most cited barriers to the lack of more active engagement. Some efforts have recently been made to strengthen the ties between higher education and employers, notably through a local multi-stakeholder partnership as a potential broker. However, it will take time for this to bear fruit and contribute to reducing skill gaps and shortages. The data show that despite employers’ apparent willingness, more effort must be made to encourage active engagement. View Full-Text
Keywords: higher education; employers’ engagement; employability; multi-stakeholder partnership higher education; employers’ engagement; employability; multi-stakeholder partnership
MDPI and ACS Style

Suleman, F.; Videira, P.; Araújo, E. Higher Education and Employability Skills: Barriers and Facilitators of Employer Engagement at Local Level. Educ. Sci. 2021, 11, 51. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020051

AMA Style

Suleman F, Videira P, Araújo E. Higher Education and Employability Skills: Barriers and Facilitators of Employer Engagement at Local Level. Education Sciences. 2021; 11(2):51. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020051

Chicago/Turabian Style

Suleman, Fátima, Pedro Videira, and Emília Araújo. 2021. "Higher Education and Employability Skills: Barriers and Facilitators of Employer Engagement at Local Level" Education Sciences 11, no. 2: 51. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020051

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