Russell Rimmer by sturesearcher



    Bernie Quinn and Russ Rimmer
    Queen Margaret University

    International Hospitality and Tourism Research
    Sörenberg, Switzerland
Today's Aims

 To discuss employability issues for
  prospective graduates of International
  Hospitality programmes
 To highlight possible pitfalls for graduates
  before entering industry
 Consider employability as a hard concept not
  just as a range of competencies
 Consider Culture as an inhibitor or
  competitive advantage
Why study hospitality abroad?

 Globally and cross-culturally relevant skills, experience and
   Intensity of experience
   Internationally recognised qualifications
   ‘Push’ of students’ domestic environments  ‘Pull’ of attractions
    of foreign study
   Initiatives designed to foster study abroad
   Cachet of
       a professional hotel environment
       study in Switzerland
       studying in UK
       …
 Ready for work when graduated
 Improved remuneration and career prospects
Why not?
   Study, subsistence and leisure costs
   Adjustment costs in new environment
       Navigational
       New language/local usage; cost of acquisition
       Different social, cultural, dietary regimes
       Absence from familiar environment and networks
   Stress
       Academic-study stress
       Financial and employment
       Service-encounter stress
   Greater risk of academic failure in host system
   Imperfect knowledge of international programmes
       Which nation (UK, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, …)?
       Which institution?
   Perceived dangers
       Political, regulatory or social change in host country
       Loss of reputation at host institution
Why  Why not

 For those who do, cost and risk are outweighed
  by benefit and reward
   Personality and background influence decision
 How do students and parents assess benefit and
 What information is available on
   1.   academic outcomes of programmes?
   2.   employability and work readiness?
   3.   remuneration and career progress?
   4.   influence of course philosophy and delivery?
   5.   Links between 1, 2, 3 and 4?
One view of some links
What is employability?

 Employability of a graduate is the propensity of
  the graduate to exhibit attributes that employers
  anticipate will be necessary for the future
  effective functioning of their organisation.
 (Harvey 1999)
 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have been
  forced to address the employability debate head
  on, and the last decade in particular has seen an
  unprecedented level of external pressure for
  them to prove that the graduates they are
  producing are ‘adding value’ to the economy
  (Maher, 2005)
Measuring Employability??

 Is graduation a guarantee of suitable
   How is employability actually measured?
   97% of QMU International Hospitality
    management students find employment
    within 6 months of graduation (Quinn 2008)
   If you cannot measure the system don’t touch
    it (Quinn ad nauseum)
   So why not really measure the system?>>>>
Theories and Theorists
 One issue for the industry is the continual outpouring of more
    theories by non practitioners who are not immersed in the
    workplace; for example here is one suggested way to measure
   Define the theoretical concept.
   Break it down into dimensions that cover the meaning of the
   Identify a range of indicators for each dimension.
   Select one or more indicators for each dimension.
   Design instruments to collect information on each indicator.
   Decide whether to have a multi-dimensional set of indicators, an
    array of indices or a single index.
   Where appropriate, combine indicators into an index.
   Harvey & McDonald, 1993)

 Hotel Schools, FE & HE all attempt to prepare the
  graduates for employment but all follow their own
  ‘routes to success’
 Interaction does take place between employers and
  academics but there does still appear to be a ‘gap’ in
 Graduates are well prepared for the hospitality
  industry when they have received a good mix of hard
  skills as well as management theory
 Students also leave with a wide range of
  ‘transferable skills’ that may lead them to other
  appropriate employment avenues, not necessarily in
  Hospitality. However………….
Heal thyself!

 There is still a distinct lack of measurement of
  the effectiveness of UK HE Hospitality
 Continual ‘back slapping’ over graduates but no
  long term vision of how to do it better
 Much rhetoric over substance
 Therefore future research will focus on the ‘how
  to measure’ the employability of our graduates
  and not just whether they are in a job!
 We welcome your comments and suggestions!
 Dacre Poole, L. and Sewell, P. (2007) A new practical model of
    graduate employability [Accessed 14March 2010, Available online
   Harvey, L. (2000) New Realities: The relationship between higher
    education and employment. Tertiary Education and Management
    Vol. 6 No. 1 (pp. 3-17)
   Harvey, L. and MacDonald, M. (1993) Doing Sociology: A practical
    introduction. London: MacMillan
   Luke (4:23) New International Version, The Bible
   Maher, A. (2005) Embedding employability in the curriculum:
    enhancing students career planning skills. HLST Network [
    accessed 12 April 2010 Available online at
   Quinn, B. (2008) Induction of International Students LINK 22
    Employer Engagement (pp.12-13)

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