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ENHANCING GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY THROUGH SOFT SKILLS

A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION IN KENYA

Patrick Kariuki, Dept of business, Nkabune TTI,

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Abstract

Soft skills are described as career traits that employees should possess, such as leadership skills, communication skills, a positive work attitude and teamwork. In the twenty-first century workforce, soft skills are critical in the business sector. In Kenya, the general sentiment of employers is that graduates fail to meet the market expectation and hence are lagging behind. This has become a grave concern as Kenyan graduates are seen as lacking in soft skills. The soft skill gap is said to have caused the high unemployment statistic of graduates. This paper seeks to contribute to the body of knowledge on the critical soft skill factors of new graduates from the employers’ perspective through a qualitative study and an empirical examination in Kenya. As this is a pilot paper, the objective of this study is to explore and examine the importance of soft skills competencies at the Kenyan workplace and to identify critical soft skills that are needed at the workplace in Kenya. This study will be helpful to institutions of higher learning because the findings reported will help to identify the most critical workforce skills and this will be useful for educators to more effectively include employability skills in their courses.

Keywords: critical soft skills, competencies, employability, unemployment and institutions of higher learning

 

 

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