Industrial Attachment and Employability: Perspectives of Graphic Design Students and Industrial Supervisors



To provide students with career focused tertiary education that enhances employability for middle-level supervisory and managerial positions in business and industry in Ghana, the Polytechnic Act 2007, Act 754, was enacted. This Act makes it mandatory for all students to undertake Industrial Attachment. The focus of Industrial Attachment is to help enhance graduate employability through the acquisition of employable skills and knowledge, to assist students to build or improve their personal skills to increase their chances of obtaining secured jobs in their respective fields of study and to be able to contribute meaningfully to economic growth and national development (Walker II, 2011; Nunfam et al 2015). Although Graphic Design students spend six months (on different vacation periods) out of the total three years on the HND Programme on Industrial Attachment, yet most of them find it difficult to obtain jobs relating to their area of specialities, while some of those employed in the Graphic Design industry also lack the needed industrial skills to enable them to perform effectively (Nunfam et al 2015). The aim of this paper was to explore and describe the extent to which Graphic Design students of the Takoradi Technical University are equipped with industrial experience and practical skills through Industrial Attachment to enhance employability. Mixed research strategy (Qualitative and Quantitative) was employed. A case study research design was used, and research instruments employed to obtain data were survey questionnaire and interview for the collection of qualitative and quantitative data to answer the research question: What are the perceptions of students and industrial supervisors on the impact of Industrial Attachment on employability? Purposive sampling technique was used to select a sample of 217 respondents, made up of 209 level 300 students and 8 industrial supervisors.Qualitative data was analysed through thematic analysis and quantitative data was also analysed with SPSS statistics software. Students have good understanding of theoretical knowledge. However, due to ineffective collaboration between Takoradi Technical University and the various industries, and the lack of effective strategic management of the Industrial Attachment programme, some students have limited practical skills. Collaboration between Takoradi Technical University and industries is critical for the development of employability skills. For Graphic Design students to benefit from the Industrial Attachment programme, all stakeholders of Takoradi Technical University need to put in the technical expertise, resources, infrastructure, incentives and motivations to foster a seamless partnership between the University and the industries. Also, the current inadequate Industrial Attachment programme requires a critical evaluation through effective strategic management.

Keywords: Technical University Education, Industrial attachment, Graphic Design, Employability skills.

DOI: 10.7176/JEP/11-18-10

Publication date:June 30th 2020


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