Employability of social work graduates in the Zambian labour market : a perspective of University of Zambia social work graduates.

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Chibanta, Jonathan
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of the study was to explore the employability of social work graduates in the Zambian labor market while focusing on what it takes for social work graduates to get employed, strategies used in job search and the underlying motives thereof. This research adopted a hermeneutic phenomenology research approach, which contends to glean on understanding the views of people experiencing employability and fits in well with the Interpretivism which focused on understanding experiences of social work graduates surrounding the phenomena of employability. The sample size was made up of 16 social work graduates from the University of Zambia. Findings revealed that it took; (i) academic qualifications, (ii) work experience, (iii) skills, (iv) individual attributes, (v) religion, (vi) social networks, (vii) belonging to the social work professional body, and (viii) reputation of university for social work graduates to be employed. More or so, when it comes to the actual process of job search and application, job seekers used prescribed job search/application procedures by potential employers such as dropping application letters physically or emailing them to potential employers. Even so, job seekers attested to having their own motives for the preferred strategy such as ‘ease of use’ and ‘improved chances of getting a job using online application or the ‘development of people’s skills and gaining of the much-needed work experience’ that comes with volunteerism. In its most basic sense, graduate employability was understood as that which it took for social work graduates to be work ready and employable. Although graduate employability can be viewed from three different perspectives: employer, graduates and Higher learning institution, his study focused on social work graduates only. Hence, the need for further research involving other stakeholders such as employers and higher learning institutions.
Labor market--Zambia. , Graduates--Employ-ability of. , Employability. , Graduate employability challenges.