The concept of employability

Ronald McQuaid, Colin Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

395 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The concept of 'employability' plays a crucial role in informing labour market policy in the UK, the EU and beyond. This paper analyses current and previous applications of the term and discusses its value as an exploratory concept and a framework for policy analysis. It then traces the development of the concept, discusses its role in current labour market and training strategies (with particular reference to the UK) and seeks to identify an approach to defining employability that can better inform labour market policy, by transcending explanations of employment and unemployment that focus solely on either supply-side or demand-side factors. Although the literature offers a range of definitions of 'employability', many policy-makers have recently used the term as shorthand for 'the individual's employability skills and attributes'. It is argued that this 'narrow' usage can lead to a 'hollowing out' of the concept of employability. The paper concludes by presenting a broad framework for analysing employability built around individual factors, personal circumstances and external factors, which acknowledges the importance of both supply- and demand-side factors.
LanguageEnglish
Pages197-219
Number of pages23
JournalUrban Studies
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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employability
labor market
policy analysis
unemployment
supply
demand
policy
EU
Values

Keywords

  • employability
  • labour markets
  • skills
  • unemployment

Cite this

McQuaid, Ronald ; Lindsay, Colin. / The concept of employability. In: Urban Studies. 2005 ; Vol. 42, No. 2. pp. 197-219.
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The concept of employability. / McQuaid, Ronald; Lindsay, Colin.

In: Urban Studies, Vol. 42, No. 2, 2005, p. 197-219.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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