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5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES
At the 2013 launch of the return to work scheme, “Springboard” in Dublin, it was stated that employers were seeking staff with enhanced language, presentation, communication, coping, and team-working skills. Graduates without these skills were finding it more difficult to gain permanent employment and were more likely to find themselves out of work unless they developed these skills. Enhancing personal development skills in education requires a revision of existing programmes. Not alone will these skills open new doors of opportunity for those who have lost their jobs during the recession, but should help sustain them going forward. The education of the modern engineer and technical experts for the changing and demanding world of work in the 21st century must consist of a multi-disciplined integrated approach. The vital and invaluable technical skills should be explained, practiced and demonstrated concurrently with equally essential and crucial pedagogy and so called “soft” skills. The ability to work independently, to manage and communicate effectively with people from other disciplines will yield dividends for future engineers. Skills such as problem solving, computer literacy and business acumen together with company specific skills, technical dexterity and an ability to understand the commercial goals of Industry must form an integral part of engineering education. There is currently, calls from industry for educational changes that enhance basic economic knowledge, management skills, learning to learn, and competencies in communications and teamwork. One of the challenges herein, is that programmes should provide capabilities for graduates to handle changing economic and cultural working environments . This broad and integrated learning will help prepare the graduate for an increasingly complex modern working environment. Educators have a critical role to play in addressing the skills gap between education, environment and Industry
McGarthy, D. and Kennedy, D. Professional skills portfolio for a progressive engineering education. Engineers Ireland ejournal May 30th. 2013.