Level of Workplace Readiness Skills When Entering the Workplace as Perceived by Employers and Recent High School Graduates

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to capture employers' and recent high school graduates' perceptions of employability skills in a rural region in southwestern Virginia. The specific objectives of this study were: a) to describe the employers' perceptions of expected proficiency levels of workplace readiness skills for new employees in the New River Region; b) to describe the recent high school graduates perceptions of the importance of workplace readiness skills for new employees in the New River Region; and c) to describe employers and recent high school graduates; perceived skills gap for new employees in the New River Region. The study used a multi-method QUAN + QUAL methodology. The data were collected using a researcher-created survey instrument and focus groups. The results from this study revealed that employers' perceptions concerning workplace readiness skills are consistent with skills mentioned in the literature. Work ethics was identified as the highest priority need for employers. Other priority needs identified from the literature were accountability, dependability, empathy, punctuality, and work ethic. One pedagogical implication of the study is that career and technical education teachers should emphasize workplace readiness skills because they are essential for securing and retaining employment.



Workplace Readiness Skills, Employability Skills