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Transferable Skills

Ben Hardy


The government has decided that PhD students need to improve their employability They have put an immense (?obscene) amount of money behind it There is quite a lot of variability/uncertainty about how best to implement a transferable skills programme.

Background (2)

Judge Business School has ~100 graduate students Most have had several jobs

The plan

Assessment of skill level

Integration of training

Selection of training mechanism

Training or experience Report training undertaken After Kolb, 1984


What are the government getting for their money? 3 methods

Passive Coercion Collaboration

JBS has chosen the latter Web based assessment and reporting system

How we have implemented this

Get students to assess their transferable skills Think about what training would be useful Carry out a survey:

Suggestions for courses Ideas for improvement Comments on the system

Then try and make next year's course relevant

How have we got on?

Initial survey response lamentable (4 people) Improved subsequently (26 people)


I would rate my level of Research Skills and Techniques as: Low (answers: 26, mean: 3.19) I would rate my knowledge of the Research Environment as: Low (answers: 25, mean: 3.4) I would rate my level of Research Management as: Low (answers: 25, mean: 3.6) I would rate my level of Personal Effectiveness as: Low (answers: 25, mean: 3.48) I would rate my Communication Skills as: Low (answers: 25, mean: 3.52) I would rate my Networking and Teamworking skills as: Low (answers: 25, mean: 3.28) I would rate my ability in Career Management as: Low (answers: 25, mean: 3.48) High







Qualitative results

What are they saying they want?

Presentation skills Journal writing skills Career management skills Quite a lot of methodology requests

There is a general passivity and failure to utilise the benefits of the University

Where to now?

Improve response to the survey Collate results and better publicity for the programme Greater awareness of existing resources Increase engagement in the process


The Judge Business School transferable skills course is off to a reasonable start Our hope is that the collaborative model will increase engagement Trust/credibility building may take 2-3 years We still have a long way to go And yes, doing this presentation was a transferable skill...


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