What led to Generic skills on the agenda, why and how?

Essay by dadushuUniversity, Bachelor'sB, July 2008

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What led to Generic skills on the agenda, why and how?

According to[ Jones(2001:1)]: 'In the last decade, the concept of a set of generic skills, qualities and attributes that support lifelong learning has become firmly placed on the national and international higher education agenda.' Higher education institutions in the UK, Canada, the USA, South Africa and Australia, in response to external pressures from the employment and government sectors, have been involved in major efforts to improve the quality of graduate outcomes. Whether this effort has been, or indeed should be, driven by educational, economic, political or social factors is a complex issue and one which continues to stimulate considerable debate across the higher education, employment and government sectors. In today's industry, the generic skills become more and more important. [NCVER, (2003)] said that: there is a high demand for generic skills in the workplace. Employers seek to ensure business success by recruiting and retaining employees who have a variety of skills and personal attributes, as well as technical skills.

Individuals also need a range of generic skills to form and maintain family and community relationships. So we should study the generic skills as early as possible. Institutional policies and statements of generic attributes have led to changes in the curriculum and pedagogy of both academic departments and learning canters, as universities race to redefine their concept of 'graduate ness' to stake out their market niche. [Jones, J. (2001)] Agreement on definitions is crucial to the development and implementation of generic skills. However, it is also important to recognize that there will probably never be one definitive list of generic skills because they need to be open to review and re-interpretation as the environment changes. [ NCVER, (2003)] It means that generic skills are important because industry need them to...