How fourth industrial revolution skillsets mediate the relationship between work integrated learning, graduate employability, and future job

Keywords: Work integrated learning, 4IR skillset, Graduate employability, future job, structural equation modelling


The emerging work context of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) has increased the industry's calls for future-capable graduates who can demonstrate digital literacy and innovation knowledge, and other behavioural competencies for employability. Gaps between work integrated learning (WIL) and 4IR competencies in driving graduates' transition to the employment of the future exist in the literature. With a structural equation modelling (SEM) approach, this study examines the nexus between WIL, graduate employability, and future job. It further examines whether 4IR skillsets can boost (mediate) the effectiveness of WIL in enhancing graduate employability. With a correlational non-experimental research design, 375 engineering students from two universities in Nigeria were sampled. A composite-based SEM, comprising measurement and structural assessment model, was used to test the hypothesized model, implemented in SmartPLS software version 3.3.3. The instrument's validity and reliability were established through hetero trait – Mono trait ratio and average variance extracted. The structural model analysis rejected three hypotheses, testing direct relationships between WIL, graduate employability, and future job. Findings showed that WIL had a positive and significant relationship with graduate employability, 4IR skillset, and future job. It was established, that the 4IR skillset plays a considerable role and positively mediates the relationship between WIL and graduate employability. The study offers important insights on WIL as a strategy for developing graduate employability to prepare students for employment in the digital era


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Author Biographies

Waliu Adegbite, University of Johannesburg

Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management

College of Business & Economics

School of Management

Cookie M. Govender, University of Johannesburg

Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management

College of Business & Economics

School of Management


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How to Cite
Adegbite, W., & Govender, C. (2022). How fourth industrial revolution skillsets mediate the relationship between work integrated learning, graduate employability, and future job. EUREKA: Social and Humanities, (4), 3-17.
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