Department: Vocational Education
Osahon Margaret E.;
The study was carried out to ascertain supervisors’ assessment of the application of employability skills by Office Technology and Management (O.T.M.) graduates working in tertiary institutions in Edo and Delta States. Five research questions and ten hypotheses guided the study. Descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The population was 1,016 supervisors with a sample size of 309 determined by using proportionate stratified sampling technique to select sample in each stratum. The instrument used for data collection was a researcher’s structured 61 itemquestionnaire relating to foundational skills, critical thinking skills, management skills, personal and interpersonal skills and technical skills titled “Application of employability skills questionnaire (AESQ)”. The questionnaire was duly validated by fourexpertsinBusiness Education departmentand Measurement and Evaluation department from University of Benin and NnamdiAzikiwe University, Awka. Reliability of the instrument was determined by administering it to 20 office supervisors outside the area of study and application of Cronbach alpha yielded reliability coefficients of 0.79, 0.89, 0.71, 0.75 and 0.89 for clusters B1 – B5 respectively. An over-all reliability coefficient of 0.80 was obtained. The instrument was distributed by the researcher and four trained research assistants. Data related to the five research questions were analyzed using arithmetic mean and standard deviations. The t-test was used to test null hypotheses 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 while null hypotheses 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 were tested using ANOVA at 0.05 level of significance. The study revealed that the supervisors rated application of employability skills by O.T.M. graduates to be moderate in all the five aspect of employability skills. The study also revealed that there is no significant difference in the mean ratings ofsupervisors in public and private tertiary institutions in the aspect of application of personal and interpersonal skills and technical skills by O.T.M. graduates. The studies further shows that there was a significant difference in the mean ratings of public and private Supervisors on the level of application of foundational skills, critical thinking skills and management skills by O.T.M. graduates among other findings. From the findings, it can be concluded that the level of application of employability skills by O.T.M. graduates is below expectations which shows that the assertions made by Barrie (2006) and others that there is significant gap between employers’ needs and the actual skill levels and abilities of graduates who enter the labour pool to apply these skills is quite true. By implication, the training received by O.T.M. graduates is inadequate to meet the challenges of the modern day office. Based on the findings of this study, the researcher recommended among others that the observed deficiencies in literacy, numeracy and communicative skills which constitute the foundational skills should be adequately addressed by revamping the general studies courses in general studies units in tertiary institutions. Educators should use innovative teaching strategies such as inquiring method of teaching that can stir up critical thinking skills of students and as well apply democratic approach that can increase students’ awareness of values, attitudes and workers responsibility.