Researching Business Needs
and University interactions in a
Transition Society
Prof John Hobrough
Information from advertisement
Researchers
• UK. John Hobrough
• Latvia. Larissa Turusheva, Daina Grasmane
• Uzbekistan. Nodira Khusanova, Irina Kim
• Bulgaria. Sasho Guergov, Diana Popova,
Peter Petrov
• Russia. Svetlana Kruzhkova
Researching through public
Advertisements
The initial idea arose from work published in
Latvia by Grasmane (1999) from 501 adverts, who
• Analysed job adverts for gender discrimination as a
longitudinal study 1995 to 1999
• The results showed more jobs were advertised for
men than for women although there was a better
balance in 1999
• Some age discrimination was evident but reducing
with new legislation in Latvia
Job Research in Latvia
Grasmane 1999
By %
0nly for
men
Only for
Women
No
Discrimination
1995
68
15
17
1999
58
3
39
•
Age Discrimination
Grasmane 1999
<40
>40
No age
indicated
1995
16%
1%
83%
1999
indirect
most
Using adverts for this study
• Each researcher used a template to record
job expectations and restrictions in their
own country – a comparative study
• Information collected provides a rich
analysis of potential job expectations
• It also provides some insight into social
behvour
• Countries chosen provide information for
transition and development
Matrix Template
Business Job Qualification
Type
Title needed
Skills
Needed
Restrictions Special
Comments
Age; gender
needs
Analysis
• Expectations in terms of qualifications and
previous experience are recorded
• Skill expectations as indicated within the
adverts are also recorded
Expectations, as a %
N=
Qualification
Experience
UZB
73
37
100
RUS
47
55
47
BG
58
84
57
UK
43
47
60
Key Issues
• Bulgarian Business as an new member of
the European Union has a higher
expectation of appropriate qualifications
• Businesses in Uzbekistan expects a high
level of work experience from their
employees
• This has a real implication for education
institutions in Uzbekistan in ensuring work
experienced is part of the education
process.
Skills
Many businesses expect transferable skills to be a
major part of the CV of intending employees
Job adverts in The Guardian 1st October 2009
SKILLS, %
UZB
RUS
BG
UK
Communication
10
47
36
42
Creativity
34
IT
36
Team building
Leadership
30-40
55
30
34
16
9
33
23
12
Motivation
21
Organised
16
Analytical
1999
19
Languages
Interpersonal
LAT
14
12
Skills identified by SMEs
Order of preference
Hobrough 2003
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Work Experience
Specialist Knowledge
IT Skills
Communication
Flexibility (Creativity)
Qualification
Foreign Language
Interpersonal Skills
Team Work
Personality (Responsibility)
Commercial Awareness
RUS
8
1
6=
4=
8=
(1)
6=
2
9=
LAT
2
4=
6
1
7
4=
8=
3
-
UK
6
2
1
7
4
4
-
Key Issues
• Communication and IT skills are major
expectations across all countries analysed
• Languages (particularly, English) are
important in Uzbekistan, Bulgaria and
Latvia
• Bulgaria also places a high importance of
experience within the Global Society
• These expectations also place skill
development as an important educational
process
Matching business expectations
against job seekers in Uzbekistan
“A case study”
• The following lists were recorded within a
career development seminar held under
British Council auspices in January, 2008
• The group also recorded their values they
felt important to their career
Skills identified by job seekers in Tashkent
IT – technical skills
Time Management
Communication
Responsibility
Languages
Team Work
Leadership
Speed Reading
Problem Solving
People Management
Decision making
Creativity
Accounting – numeracy
British Council Careers Seminar 2008
Values identified by job seekers in
Tashkent
Honesty
Peace
Health
Stability
Money
Family
Development – self development
Learning how to learn– CPD
British Council Career Seminar 2008
• The following lists were recorded in 2007
from businesses in Tashkent and indicate
the skills expected
Studying labour market requirements for Uzbekistan
graduates. Khusanova 2007
Honesty (100%) (about corruption??)
Communication skills and responsibility (96%)
Capacity to efficiently solve problems (91,6%)
Experience (87,5%)
ICT skills (87,5%)
Professional education (83%)
Foreign languages (75%)
Recommendations (of top managers )– 54%,
independent external sources (41%)
There is a good match between skills offered
by job seekers and business expectation
BUT
There is a need for education and businesses
to work together to provide confidence in
the educational product as indicated by the
research
What was learnt in Uzbekistan?
• Relatively low employer expectations
regarding the quality of higher education in
Uzbekistan
• Only 12.5% of respondents collaborate
directly with the higher education
institutions on improvement of education
quality
• Only 40% of respondents considered that
such collaboration was needed.
Khusanova 2007
Questions to be asked
Is this so in Latvia?
Or the Country YOU come from?
How do we find out?
What role does Higher Education play?
There is a need to understand the role of
education in supporting business needs and
providing opportunities for students to
develop appropriate skills
The following Model shows the internal and
external relationships within Higher
Education in a Transition Society.
(Hobrough 2004)
Orientation
SKILLS
Service
Socialisation
Autonomy
Selection
Survival
Scholarship
Key Issues
• Higher education learning needs to have a strong
relationship with the Skills needed in Society as a
means of socialisation and service to the
community
• Research and development with the business
community will help the institute to survive
• Research which compares through time
(longitudinal) and space (comparative) is legitimate
for education business partnerships.
• Higher Education managers need to close the gap
between learning and the business world through
the autonomy of the institution
However – the adverts provide insights into
restrictive practices
• The European Union through legislation requires
an Equal Opportunity Policy in the job market to
ensure no discrimination because of sex, age,
diversity, ethnicity etc.
• This research has it’s basis in equal Opportunities
in Latvia in the 1990’s
• The UK has been a long term member Latvia
since 2000 and Bulgaria has recently joined
• It is therefore interesting to note where their
restrictions are to be found and how Uzbekistan
and Russia compare
Restrictions, by % of the adverts
UZB
RUS
BG
UK
LAT
1995/9
AGE
<30
21
17
83/
3
none
<40
<50
Gender
Nationality
10
7
13
6
28
19
16
1
10
0**
83/61
Key Issues
• The UK has little restrictive practice as indicated
by advertisements. Indeed the majority of adverts
indicate an Equal Opportunity policy (One advert
** for a women was for a counsellor for a female
organisation and was thus exempt from EU
legislation)
• Bulgaria have moved considerably towards the EU
policy on diversity (one Bulgarian researcher did
indicate that really younger employees were
preferred)
• Russia appears to be the most restrictive,
with high restrictions on age and gender.
Also a number of adverts indicated that
Russian (or Belarus) citizens were required.
• Uzbekistan has a low gender restriction but
a high age related restriction.
• Latvia in the 1990s indicated preference
(i.e.to join a young team)
Sustainability in the Global Society
Messages from the research
• There is a need to bring Education and
business together in partnership to deliver
the skills needed for sustainability in a
transition society
• Opportunities for all irrespective of sex, age,
ethnicity or orientation is a means of
ensuring that the best person for the job is
employed. Restrictive practices may in fact
inhibit sustainable development
Messages for Educational
Institutions
• Closer relations with industry/ business is
essential to help support national economies
• Education needs to deliver skilled graduates
to meet the needs of business
• Good and appropriate supervision during
work experience is an essential process to
ensure such an outcome (see later
presentation)
Messages to the research community
• The results of this work are comparative between
selected countries through an international team
which is capable of expansion
• The results are taken form adverts in early 2009
during an economic down turn with the exception
of Latvia
• The methodology could be employed further as a
longitudinal study to follow change and
development in Society in Latvia (or elsewhere)
• The results are based on advertisement only.
Follow up research on job descriptions and
what actually happens at the work place in
terms of equal opportunities would enhance
our knowledge about employment
legislation within societies.
• The international team responsible for this
work would be happy to support research
programmes related to education/business
partnerships in the future.
Prof. John Hobrough
[email protected];
[email protected]
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