YTU SFL ELT DAYS, İstanbul, Turkey, 24 - 25 June 2019
Business operations in today’s world function in a very challenging setting where fierce competition prevails. Administrators, managers and CEOs of different business ventures operating in a variety of fields rightfully expect university graduates to be qualified enough to cope with the challenges and requirements of the workplace. Nevertheless, recent reports indicate that business administrators tend to believe that newly graduates do not come prepared for the real-world work duties; hence youth unemployment soars at an alarming rate on both regional and global levels. Findings of investigations suggest that two of the perennial reasons as to why young people are struggling to secure suitable jobs after graduation are: a) a poor level of English language skills and b) a lack of soft skills, also known as interpersonal skills and personal qualities, required for successful completion of work related tasks. A growing number of university graduates are becoming aware that acquiring disciplinary/academic knowledge and technical skills, also referred to as hard skills, that could be put to practical use in the working environment may not suffice to get a job as they will also need to demonstrate a number of employability skills and a good command of English in order to succeed in the workplace. This presentation will outline a framework of the most commonly cited employability skills and future work skills reported by recent studies. Additionally, some thought-provoking ideas will be highlighted to offer insights into the role of English and English language instruction in the school environment to tap into those skills.