Special Issue "Graduate Employment and Sustainability in a Global and Changing Labour Market: Challenges and Opportunities for Higher Education"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Betina Silva Lopes Website E-Mail
1. CIDTFF, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
2. Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: Higher Education; Science (Biology & Geology) Education; International Cooperation for Development; Curriculum Development; Teacher Education; Impact Evaluation of Educational Policies and Practices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Higher education institutions are increasingly concerned with the professional insertion of (their) students. While the major concern has been the design of institutional mechanisms that promote students’ transition from higher education to work contexts (formal employment and self-employment), there has been an increased need to integrate the development of personal competences that sustain self-realization and the ability to articulate life goals outside and inside work.

Under the framework of the fourth goal of the Sustainable Development Agenda, namely targets 4.3 and 4.4. (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/education/) this Special Issue aims to address the relationships between higher education institutions (such as as universities and polytechnic schools) and the employability/employment of graduates from around the world, namely in developed countries, as well as in developing countries, where higher education is presently in significant expansion. Note that this Special Issue integrates as stakeholders not just university teachers/academics, but also institutional leaders and (future) workers, as well as policy makers.

We invite authors to contribute to this Special Issue by submitting empirical or theoretical research triggering a broader reflection on the integration of sustainability, in its diverse definitions and conceptualizations, into the (higher) education of (future) workers from the natural sciences and social sciences.

Contributions around the following themes are particularly welcomed:

- The changing competencies required in order to respond to the needs of a changing labour market and/or societal needs informing future or ongoing work, and education programmes/strategies.

- Development of effective partnerships, including international cooperation, between higher education and employment institutions (both from the private and public sector),

- Design, implementation and evaluation of innovative (higher) education and training programmes integrating work-related skills and non-cognitive transferable skills (such as ICT skills, entrepeneurial skills, etc.), namely  in collaboration with other social partners (HIE from other countries, companies, NGOs, etc.)

Dr. Betina Silva Lopes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Higher education (polytechnic institutions and universities)
  • Employment
  • Employability
  • Work education
  • Work-based learning (WBL)/work-integrated learning (WIL)
  • Technical and vocational education and training
  • Sustainable development agenda
  • Sustainability

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
An Analysis about Learning to IncreaseWomen’s Participation and Employment in Europe’s Energy Transition: Evidence from the European Project MEnS
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4345; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164345 - 11 Aug 2019
Abstract
The Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD) introduced the requirement for all Member States to include the concept of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) in their national plans. However, this challenge requires upgrading professional skills in NZEB concepts and strategies, thus guaranteeing the maximum [...] Read more.
The Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD) introduced the requirement for all Member States to include the concept of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) in their national plans. However, this challenge requires upgrading professional skills in NZEB concepts and strategies, thus guaranteeing the maximum impact on NZEB deployment around Europe. This is the objective of MEnS (“Meeting Energy Professional Skills”), an H2020 project focused on providing high quality upskilling and education to architects, engineers, and building professionals. The role of women in the NZEB industry indicates that female participation in the building industry is still low. The need to rebalance this gender gap is highlighted in this work through the identification of female programs and schemes. In addition, the results of women’s participation in the MEnS project is analyzed. The MEns project created and implemented a new education program, training 1200 building managers (engineers and architects) in the designand construction of NZEBs, out of which 46% were women. Focusing on the Spanish case, 18 interviews were randomly conducted with women participants in order to assess the courses and their expectations of employment in the NZEB framework. The method used for the analysis was a semi-structured interview and analysis by the grounded theory. This article describes the participation of women in this educational program and analyses initial conclusions and lessons learnt from this initiative in 10 European countries, including Spain. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Skills for Employment in the Workplace of the Future 2020 Using the Theory of Connectivity: Shared and Adaptive Personal Learning Environments in a Spanish Context
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4219; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154219 - 05 Aug 2019
Abstract
European living environments are well placed as an essential means through which cities become functional, modern, and liveable places, and are the ideal setting for the innovation and implementation of businesses and ideas. In addition, they are a place in which existing gaps [...] Read more.
European living environments are well placed as an essential means through which cities become functional, modern, and liveable places, and are the ideal setting for the innovation and implementation of businesses and ideas. In addition, they are a place in which existing gaps in labour market inclusion are easily widened amongst those who, for various reasons, have not received adequate training, such as immigrants (including unaccompanied foreign minors) and young people without qualifications that have several difficulties in the access to higher education. Further, as is noted in the Phoenix report entitled Future Work Skills 2020, our educational system suffers from a lack of training with regards to the employment skills that need to be integrated into current society, as these have a crucial role for achieving success in the workplace. The aim of this study is to analyse the key skills for the inclusion of Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (UFM) in the workplace, developing a scale for the assessment of ten basic skills for the work of the future. These individuals are mostly young people without qualifications trying to make it in the new environments of current Smart Cities. This study employs an empirical and experimental methodology with two comparison groups of UFM adolescents. The UFM population is contextualised by the migratory flow from North Africa to Europe. Multistage sampling was used to select 345 participants. An approximation scale of the level of Future Work Skills was created as a data collection instrument through simulations of Horizon 2020 (EA-HFL-SH2020). Multivariate analysis was performed which revealed significant differences between school variables, work experience and educational level. The results are aligned with the evaluation of skill acquisition level for the working future of UFM and with the proposed training model of work skills that facilitate their inclusion in the world of the European workforce, as a function of the significant differences found. In addition, the emphasis is placed on the interest of identifying this type of skills in this group in order to develop appropriate training programs in higher education for employment success. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Supporting Employability by a Skills Assessment Innovative Tool—Sustainable Transnational Insights from Employers
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3360; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123360 - 17 Jun 2019
Abstract
Employability remains an important subject in the European and international context. This is the first qualitative and quantitative transnational research of the perception of the heterogeneous sample of employers regarding a sustainable and experimental innovative tool for the assessment of competencies to support [...] Read more.
Employability remains an important subject in the European and international context. This is the first qualitative and quantitative transnational research of the perception of the heterogeneous sample of employers regarding a sustainable and experimental innovative tool for the assessment of competencies to support employability. The aim of this study is an empirical examining of the employers perception from Austria, Romania and Sweden, from five different sectors of activity regarding a sustainable and innovative online tool for continuous assessment of skills to support employability. In the study, a quantitative analysis was carried out using data based on Eurostat indicators for quality of employment and a qualitative analysis using face-to-face interviews. Our results show that even if there are significant statistically differences regarding the quality of employment according to the Eurostat indicators, all these countries have a good, equally and strong perception with an innovative and sustainable tool for continuous assessment of skills to support employability. The research results fill a gap in the existing literature and offer a new and argued point of view regarding the continuous assessment of competences from the employer’s point of view from the three different countries as regarding the social, economic and political aspects. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop