This project combines the concept of employability with global professionalism to meet the individual needs of an increasingly socially and culturally diverse student body. By developing an integrated employability spine that progressively spans the three years of the undergraduate Business Management degree, the aim of the project was to prepare graduates for an intensely competitive global labour market. With the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (Department for Education, 2017) including core metrics on the number of graduates in employment or further study, along with the skill level of the roles, employability continues to be a key strategic aim for universities. A gap has been observed though, particularly amongst international students, between the employability skills graduates possess in comparison to those required by employers (British Council, 2015, Tran et al., 2021). However, it is a challenge to develop tailored employability initiatives that effectively support graduates from all backgrounds in their transition from education into employment (Kalfa & Taska, 2015).
QS (2018) believe all students are subject to similar employability demands regardless of their country of origin and employment.There has also been a move towards developing employability through the concept of graduate identity and an understanding of self in relation to employment rather than solely focusing on the acquisition of skills and abilities (Artess et al., 2017). The Confederation of British Industry (2019) similarly advocate building character is important for work readiness amongst young people.Considering these points, and focusing on the individual needs of students, the project was underpinned by Tomlinson's (2017) ‘Graduate Capital Model’, with activities being designed to support both home and international students in their accumulation and deployment of five forms of capital. Todevelop global professionalism, the project also drew upon Bennett’s (1986) Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). The DMIS breaks boundaries in terms of employability by describing our interpretation and experience of cultural difference and observing the process of intercultural adaptation as we increase our ability to communicate across cultural differences.