Employment Skills Development in a Simulation Activity: an investigation of postgraduate student perceptions


  • Clive Kerridge
  • Jason Evans


The authors report a short-term research study which is at the nexus of two current avenues of importance in business school education:
Development of skills that enhance students’ employability prospects and future career development;
Embedding of experiential learning within business school curricula – in the context of this study, through simulation-based training [SBT]
The contemporary Higher Education institution [HEI] environment in the UK and elsewhere is rapidly evolving. Within this dynamic arena, students are increasingly indicating financial drivers as the primary motivator (Crockford, Hordósy, and Simms, 2015) for undertaking study. As such, HEIs are becoming increasingly aware of the need to support students’ transition into employment by addressing the needs of employers more effectively. Consequently, universities engage with a number of activities designed to support employability of graduates, including work placement schemes (representing a form of on-the-job training [OTJT]) and a wide range of simulations and role-playing scenarios. These are intended to contribute to the development of generic employability skills, as well as provide a ‘head start’ for graduates at the outset of their careers (Wilton, 2012).
Similarly, universities are more alert to how their programs, assessment strategies and on-campus activities can support graduate and postgraduate employability. One such approach is the use of SBT in the classroom as a form of ‘free-practice’ activity, often linked to assessment. The use of SBT has been shown to act as both a catalyst and a vehicle for learning (e.g. Loon, Evans, and Kerridge, 2015).