Employability skills of new graduates and SMEs: A case study of the financial service industry in Lagos State, Nigeria.

Abdul, Omolara (2020) Employability skills of new graduates and SMEs: A case study of the financial service industry in Lagos State, Nigeria. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

Little is known about how SME employers experience and understand new graduate employability in Nigeria. The word employability is a difficult concept to define comprehensively. Therefore, past studies have produced a varied list of “employability skills”. Over previous decades interest in graduate employability has grown, and to benefit graduates by ensuring they are employable, many studies have produced lists and classifications of the particular skills and attributes needed to promote graduate employability. To address a gap in the scholarly literature, this study explores how SME employers in the financial sector in Nigeria experience and understand the meaning of new graduate employability from their lived experiences. The research applied a phenomenological methodology to form descriptive themes. The study interviewed 18 SME employers in the financial sector, who were identified as having contact with new graduates. Participants were selected from five different companies in the same industry in Lagos, Nigeria. In-depth face-to-face interviews with these SME employers provided rich data. The study findings reveal eleven themes relating to how SME employers experience and understand new graduate employability: (a) hungry for performance; (b) determination; (c) intellectual curiosity; (d) time and appearance-conscious; (e) business acumen; (f) creative contribution; (g) effective communication; (h) optimism and honesty; (i) boldness and purposeful career path; (j) coachable attitude; and (k) informative. The study reveals that employers shared impactful memories of graduates who were able to use simple english language when communicating during their interviews. This study contributes to the development of practice and knowledge in diverse ways. The study proposes a new conceptual framework that is more direct and narrowly focused on new graduate employability. This framework will be useful to students in a career guidance context, to SME employers, to human resource departments involved in the selection and induction of employees who wish to select highly adaptable employees, and to higher education and graduate training centres, which can incorporate this information about new graduate employability into their curriculums to deliver graduates who are highly employable.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Employability skills Lagos State, Nigeria Financial services industry
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Omolara Eunice Abdul
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2021 13:59
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2021 09:26
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1574

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