Document Type



New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Business


This article was originally published as: Jackson, D. (2013). The contribution of work-integrated learning to undergraduate employability skill outcomes. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 14(2), 99-115. Original article available here


WIL has attracted considerable attention as an instrument for enhancing professional practice and developing work-readiness in new graduates. It is widely considered as a point of difference in developing graduate employability by enhancing skill outcomes, such as team-work, communication, self-management and problem solving, employment prospects and student understanding of the world-of-work. This paper investigates the role of WIL in improving undergraduate employability skills; gauging its impact on a range of skills; and identifying variations in outcomes for certain demographic, study background and placement characteristics using survey data from 131 WIL students in an Australian university. Results indicate a significant improvement in undergraduates’ perceived ability to perform all ten employability skills following placement. Study background and demographic characteristics produced minor variations in skill outcomes, both in general and specific to the completed placement. The number of hours completed in the workplace was of particular importance. Implications for placement design are discussed. (Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 2013 14(2), 99-115)