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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Employment Literacy: A Working Definition

Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd.

In this paper, we conceptualise 'employment literacy'. While terms such as 'job ready' and 'employability' are widely used, there are few criteria apart from gaining employment by which to measure the success of employment intervention and support programs. We suggest that these terms might usefully be considered as part of employment literacy.

Defining employment literacy involves thematising, theorising and the development of a practical pedagogy. It goes beyond the delineation of a number of principles; there is also the need to impart critical knowledge of how employment works to construct meanings and how the engagement with these meaning affects employability. This involves identifying and examining different models of practice and using those to inform pedagogical practice. In further research we hope to identify, develop and evaluate models of practice of employment literacy.

Employment literacy draws upon sets of key competencies considered important for employability by industry as well as teachable and assessable by educators. But employment literacy also provides ways to navigate or 'read' the job market, work place and employment context, and apply particular skills appropriately. Employment literacy would build on basic literacy such as print literacy as well as social and cultural literacy skills.

Employment literacy involves training in skills to create, enhance and maintain job readiness, employability and employment status within a socio-political context. It will teach competency in interpreting and interacting with the work environment.


Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd  (Australia)
Centre for Research for Women
Curtin University of Technology and Edith Cowan University

Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd
Director, Centre for Research
for Women, Curtin University
of Technology and Lecturer,
Edith Cowan University. Her
research interests include
Employability across Diversity.

  • Employment Literacy
  • Education and training

(Virtual Presentation , English)