A) Categorising Employability:

While governments may think of employability as a workforce phenomenon and employers may think of employability as attributes and capabilities of their employees with which to manage their companies/organisations and tertiary educators may think of employability as something to prepare their graduates for, a different interpretation is needed for the workers themselves: personal employability.

So we can categorise employability as:

a) workforce employability (characteristics of the workforce (qualitative and quantitative in

    consideration of government and national priorities and assessment of workforce

    capabilities to identify workforce development needs both pre and post workforce entry

    e.g. setting tertiary education expectations, industry standards and workforce re-entry


b) organisational employability (characteristics and capabilities of the organisation's

     workers (collectively and individually) in pursuit of organisational goals and

     responsibilities, plus the foundational employability attributes of the organisational

     workforce to direct the organisation's professional development and employee

     retention programs)

c) graduate employability (as a goal and expectation of tertiary education)


d) worker/personal employability (the ability and motivation of the individual worker to

     understand, pursue and manage their own employability).   (Higgs, 2019)

Personal Employability refers to:


    the degree to which a person is employable

    or prepared for/capable of employment
    - in general, or in relation to a particular job,  and


     the ability and agency of a person to act positively

     in the maintenance and pursuit of his/her desired

     employment options, situation and directions.                        (Higgs 2016)


 Developing employability

     The development of employability is a life style, life wisdom and metacognitive
     set of practices (see Higgs, 2019a,b; Higgs & Cloutman, 2019)  not just a learning
     activity. (Higgs, 2019)


Developing personal employability involves understanding what it is and what it can mean and be for the individual (worker), pursuing this goal of what it can be and managing the way the individual inhabits the employability space to achieve these goals and become the person-worker they are seeking to be in the context(s) they are living and working in. (Higgs, 2019)