What do we mean (and what don’t we mean) when we talk about ‘employability’?

Authors: Wallis, R.

Conference: NAHEMI’s Talking Shop 2021: ‘Looking Forward’

Dates: 15 July 2021


The speed and magnitude of the fall-out from Covid-19 exposed devastating weaknesses in the way these industries ‘do’ employment. Many have been left wondering if the personal cost of a career in film or television is one they can any more afford. For media educators, it means taking a long hard look at what we mean when we talk about ‘employability’. On the one hand, students need to know the practicalities of finding work. On the other hand, they need to be prepared for its uncertain and shifting nature, and understand the highly problematic aspects of many employment practices within these industries. How do we ensure the former, without condoning or under-playing the latter? I consider this dilemma through the notion of career readiness which, I argue, provides a useful conceptual framework for educators concerned to find an approach to employability that is both instrumental and critical.

Source: Manual