Intercultural Exchanges and Soft Skills Development in the Info-Tech-Enabled EFL Classroom (Published)
The present research study assesses the impact of an ICT-enabled English language environment on students’ intercultural exchanges and soft skills development. The major objective is to see whether an English course content that makes use of blogs, podcasts, and Internet-aided presentations allows intercultural encounters and boosts personal and professional development. The qualitative comments from the end–of–course interview are examined with regard to students’ reflections on their learning experience. Research findings show that the use of ICT-enabled class content does not bring about any considerable changes in students’ cultural practices, but stirs and triggers personal and professional changes (changes in attitudes) and allows learners to develop empowering soft skills, including personal development skills, communication skills, and conflict resolution skills.
Soft Skills Preparation as Panacea for Self-Employment for Tvet Technician Graduates in Kenya (Published)
The main aim of the paper was to assess how effect of soft skills on self-employment among Technical and Vocational Education and Training technician graduates in Kenya. The specific soft skills investigated in this study were practice time management, solve problems, work independently, interpersonal skills, communication skills, decision making skill, creativity/innovations and adaptability on self-employment among TVET graduates. This study was based on pragmatic research paradigm using embedded research design. The study targeted 527 technician graduate from TVET institutions in Uasin Gishu county Kenya. Simple random was used to select 320 sample size. Quantitative data analysis was done using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. The interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Multiple Regression analysis was done to test hypothesis. Findings showed that TVET institutions did not inculcate soft skills content required for survival in self-employment. The generic skills tested were ranked from highly perceived as good to the least good: time management, ability to solve problems, ability to work autonomously, interpersonal skills, communication skills, decision making, creativity and innovative skills, and adaptability. However, despite time management being ranked the highest it had no effect on self-employment. Regression results revealed that ability to solve problems, ability to work independently, interpersonal skills, adaptability and creativity and innovations have a positive and significant effect on self-employment.
Understanding Graduate Employability: A Case of a Selected Higher Education Institution in Botswana (Published)
The issue of graduate employment has generated a lot of debate and has become a phenomenal theme of discourse across professional gatherings, political rallies, media, commentary reviews, national economic debates and social networks. In the context of Botswana, studies also show that the country is currently suffering from the twin challenges of shrinking economy and unemployment with the current national unemployment being pegged at 18% and rising while youth unemployment alone is at 34%. It is against this background that this study has been carried out to examine the employment status of graduates at a selected higher education institution in Botswana. A quantitative approach that employed a structured questionnaire was used in the study to collect data from a sample of 250 graduates who graduated between 2007 and 2014. Convenience sampling strategy was used to select the sample of respondents. Data collected was analysed using SPSS version 21. Results of the study showed that 65.3% of the students who graduated between 2007 and 2014 at the selected higher education institution are employed. The study further showed that graduates felt that some of the reasons for delayed employment had nothing to do with skills mismatch, experience or competition in the market but as a result of other issues. It was also shown in the study that the main method of seeking for employment was through the use of curriculum vitae (CVs)
An Investigation into the Soft Skills That Employers in Zimbabawe Expect Graduate Jobseekers to Possess: A Study of Five Companies under the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (Limited) Group (Published)
This study sought to investigate the soft skills which employers in Zimbabwe value most, which they expect graduate jobseekers and graduate employees to possess. The study was based on five companies under the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe Limited Group (IDCZ) namely Chemplex Corporation, Almin Metal Industries; Olivine Industries; Allied Insurance and Sunway City. The study was primarily quantitative with wide use of self-completing questionnaires. The research found out that employers as represented by managerial staff at the five companies under study felt that tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe exclude the training in soft skills and emphasised on the development of technical skills (hard skills). The study found out that the ten soft skills that employers in Zimbabwe felt were critical for graduate employees to possess are: critical thinking, morality (hunhu/ ubuntu), teamwork, ethics, anger management/ self-control, communication skills, integrity, reliability/ trustworthiness, self- confidence, and understanding the work culture. As entailed in the Personality Trait-Based Model of Job Performance, the study recommended that compulsory training in soft skills which prioritizes the identified most preferred soft skills should be introduced in tertiary institutions. The study also recommended that institutions with the mandate to develop manpower in Zimbabwe, such as the National Manpower Advisory Council (NAMACO) should develop a National Soft Skills Framework which clearly outlines the set of soft skills to be possessed by graduate youths in order for them to meet industry skills expectations when they join the world of work