Future of Work: Innovation Skills as the Missing Link for Employability


  • Giselle Camille Rampersad Flinders University
  • Vlatka Zivotic-Kukuloj Flinders University


Curriculum design, employability, entrepreneurship, innovation, STEM, student career literacy, work-integrated learning


While innovation is critical for the workforce of tomorrow, the curricula of current science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs do not sufficiently prepare graduates with innovation skills for the future of work increasingly characterized by automation and artificial intelligence. This quantitative, longitudinal study measures key transferable skills in work integrated learning (WIL) students, before and after their industry placement. It found that students were deficient in important innovation skills needed for employability in the future workplace including creativity/lateral thinking, entrepreneurship/ intrapreneurship, influencing others and conflict resolution. The study also demonstrates how feedback on transferable skills development could be an effective tool used for professional development of students, improvement of their innovation and employability skills and increased awareness of an innovative mindset. The study offers implications for educators in nurturing innovation skills though enhanced curriculum development and delivery, robust measurement and feedback to students.

Author Biographies

Giselle Camille Rampersad, Flinders University

Dr Giselle Rampersad is an Associate Professor Innovation at Flinders University. She holds a PhD in Innovation and Technology Management from the University of Adelaide Business School (Australia), an MSc in E-Business and Internet Systems from Durham University (UK) and a BSc in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago). Her current research interests include innovation management and policy. Dr. Rampersad has contributed to the body of knowledge in leading journals such as the Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, Journal of Computer Information Systems and International Journal of Technology Management.

Vlatka Zivotic-Kukuloj, Flinders University

Dr Vlatka Zivotic-Kukolj is a Lecturer in Electrical/Electronic and Mechanical Engineering and Topic Coordinator of Work Integrated Learning at Flinders University. She holds a Ph.D and MEngSci (Research) from the University of Adelaide, and a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering (Hons) from the University of Zagreb. Her research interests include STEM education. Her work has appeared in several international journals including the IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications and Australian Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.