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Employability Skills Gap: Library and Information Science Education and Training in Zimbabwe

Pedzisai Katuli Munyoro, Stephen Mutula

Abstract


This paper, which is based on a PhD study, explores the question why Library and Information Science (LIS) education and training programmes are criticised for producing graduates without the requisite skills to perform right away in their first jobs. The reason why LIS graduates are purportedly reproached for being inadequately prepared for the jobs they apply for has remained an under-researched topic in LIS education and training, despite the fact that it is highly debated in scholarly discourse and literature. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies were used to inform the study design, data collection and analysis procedures. The qualitative perspective was dominant, complemented by the quantitative perspective. The findings suggest that the development of work-ready graduates is not part of the mandate of LIS education and training programmes. Because of this, the development of work-ready graduates is hampered and it is further constrained by the existing discrepancy between high-level policy positions in the country and operational behaviour, different perspectives among LIS employers and faculties on what higher education stands for, lack of mutual partnerships among key stakeholders, constant changes in the LIS field and resource inadequacies. This finding suggests that the development of LIS graduates’ employability skills will remain insubstantial if it is not supported by policy and regulatory frameworks, well-established partnerships among policymakers, higher education institutions and employers, and both human and physical resources.

Keywords: Library and Information Science; education and training; employability skills; change; higher education.


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