Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LATVIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 9303-9308
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.2251
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
The technology-driven world has brought about huge changes and it might seem that the labour market mostly requires university graduates with a strong academic background and professional knowledge. However, in order to succeed at work, employees need to possess not only job-specific skills but also a range of the soft skills that employers are interested in to find in job applicants. Such skills as critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, creativity have been mentioned as the top skills in various surveys of company managers and are considered to enhance the employability of applicants. Researchers also differentiate between cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Cognitive skills refer to advanced literacy and writing, critical thinking and decision making, complex information processing and interpretation and others. Non-cognitive skills refer to attitudes, behaviours and strategies which help to achieve success in school and at work. Such a feature as perseverance has become important in defining employment outcomes. In addition, IT skills and foreign language skills are often included in rankings of employability skills. The analysis of online job advertisements in Latvia shows that 86% of them have included the demand for IT skills and 67% of job advertisements require from candidates the knowledge of one or two foreign language (mostly the English language). Employability is a multi-faceted concept which has been addressed and analysed by a number of researchers of higher education. The discussion is focused on whether education institutions should provide only the knowledge of the subject field or they should also cater for the skills students need for the world of work. Another trend which has emerged in the last decade is dividing generations into groups. Present day graduates are called the millennials or representatives of Generation Y. The metaphor “digital residents” is used to describe young people who have technologies at their fingertips. Many internet users use various applications and e-commerce, however, the situation in commercial and public sectors is less advanced. The previous research findings (Gudele & Rivza, 2015) show that reluctant use of e-commerce by entrepreneurs in Latvia have three main reasons: the lack of skills and knowledge about e-commerce, the lack of IT specialists for e-commerce usage and the lack of confidence in e-commerce and financial security of data. The aim of the study was to find out the opinion of employers in Latvia regarding the employability skills they are seeking in university graduates and to describe the current situation in developing employability skills in the adult education of Latvia. The paper describes the results of the survey of 102 company managers regarding their opinion of what kind of skills they value most and the expert interviews on their views regarding the solution of the problem in adult education.
Employability skills, adult education, IT skills, labour market.