Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Mutual Expectations of Employers and Employees as a Factor Affecting Employability

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Mutual Expectations of Employers and Employees as a Factor Affecting Employability

Article excerpt

1.Introduction

Thijssen et al. (2008) emphasizes that the employability began to be empirically studied in the 90s, although the term itself was already used from about 1955. The notion of employability has been studied in different disciplines; in business, psychology, social work and education.1 Berntson et al. (2006) states that education and training are the most important investment in the development of human individual capital. Human capital can develop as a result of working experience, formal education and competence improvement, thus being beneficial to the society in general in different ways, such as increase in wages, health improvement and better products.2

Nevertheless, Bernston et al. (2006) defined education and training as the cornerstone in the development of human capital. However, there exist internal and external barriers as defined by McQuaid and Lindsay (2005) which affect the employability of job seekers and employees. These include such employability components as the elements of offer and demand and the internal factors - the amount of individual transferable skills; an individual's internal motivation to look for a job; access to information and support networks; the number of personal barriers and work specificity.3 The external factors also include employers' attitudes towards the unemployed; provision and quality of education and training; access to assistance for job seekers who are in unfavourable positions; the extent to which the tax benefit system successfully avoids the benefit traps and most importantly, the extent to which the job corresponds to personal well-being and quality of life issues.

In Latvia, the term "employability" is comparatively new. This term only began to be used in 2010, and its meaning was explained in the conference "Progressive Approach to the Employment Promotion" by the State Employment Agency where it was specifically explained as a person's ability to get, maintain and acquire a new job if necessary.4 With regard to the traits deemed necessary to get, maintain and acquire a new job, McQuaid & Lindsay (2005), on the basis of their study, have established characteristics that comprise basic social skills such as honesty and integrity; ability to present oneself professionally; reliability; readiness to work; understanding one's actions and the consequences; displaying a positive attitude towards work and a sense of responsibility and self-discipline. Additionally, such features as productivity, diligence, confidence, motivation, reasoning, initiative, self-confidence, and the ability to be independent are also mentioned.

In the list presented, the following basic professional skills are posited as being the most essential: writing, calculation, communication skills, document execution, argumentation, problem solving, adaptation, coordination of the working process, teamwork, time management, functional mobility, basic information and communication technology skills, as well as emotional and aesthetic client service skills.5 Obviously, relevant qualifications, as well as professional knowledge related to corresponding skills and work experience are crucial. What is more, it is vitally important to be attached to the labour market, which, in the assessment of a person's work history, is determined by the length and frequency of unemployment.

Presti & Pluviano (2015), summarizing the definitions of "employability", offered by different theoreticians, define "employability" as personal resources which are developed by an individual during the work experience to enhance his/her career growth, which extends the meaning of employability orientation to include the attempt to understand the previous work experiences and look forward to the development of a personal professional future, while acquiring valuable competences and skills by improving his/her formal and informal work-related networking and obtaining knowledge of their social environment in order to find opportunities and limitations in the career growth. …

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