An African model of employability (Christopher John Beukes)

This study involves the development of an African model of employability, which focuses on the design and enhancement of an employability assessment tool.

The model has been worked upon and refined for a period of over six years. This model assumes a wider interconnectedness of skills, and maps skills to nature as well as the parts of a tree. It is for this reason that the model is named employabilitree and assumes that if skills grow like a tree, then money really does grow on trees.


There are twelve parts to the employabilitree, namely: 1. Elements, 2. Seeds, 3. Bugs, 4. Sap, 5. Roots. 6. Trunk, 7. Branches. 8. Twigs, 9. Leaves, 10. Fruit, 11. Forest and 12. Seasons. In relation to skills, these parts represent 1. Positivity, 2. Service, 3. Barriers, 4. Creativity, 5. Foundational. 6. Core, 7. Fields. 8. Career, 9. Work, 10. Motivation, 11. Networking and 12. Cycles.  The study found that comparing the intangible with the tangible can create an environment of maximized skill transfer and retention.

The results of an Exploratory Factor Analyses conducted by Beukes (2009 ) reveal that the items of the assessment tool satisfy the psychometric criteria of both content and construct validity. The Bartlett test of sphericity yielded a statistical approximate chi-square (p<0.000), which also indicated the probability that the correlation matrix had significant correlation amongst the variables (Beukes, 2009). Reliability (internal consistency) coefficients were 0.91. According to Anastasi (1976 ) a desirable reliability coefficient would fall in the range of 0.80 to 0.90. Nunnaly and Bernstein (1994 ) use 0.70 as a directive, whilst Bartholomew, Antonia, and Marcia (2000) argue that between 0.80 and 0.60 is acceptable.

Christopher John Beukes holds a Master’s Degree in the field of industrial and organisational psychology. He is currently working on the establishment of the Central Application Service at the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

The predictive validity of the model will be researched further as part of a doctoral thesis.  The model will be available at no cost through a creative commons agreement so that it can be disseminated as far as possible without the challenges of finances getting in the way of quality education.


For further information contact Christopher Beukes at

5. Beukes, C. J. (2009). The relationship between employability and emotional intelligence. Unpublished research report, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, Pretoria.

6. Anastasi, A. (1976). Psychological testing. New York: McMillan.

7. Nunnaly, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.