Purpose: The transition for allied health graduates from university to the workforce has been perceived to be difficult and overwhelming, leading to early attrition within healthcare professions. Work readiness is a crucial aspect of successful transition to the workforce, however, the elements of work readiness are not clearly defined. The purpose of this project was to refine the measurement of work-readiness in allied health graduates. Method: A 62-item Work Readiness Scale for Allied Health Professionals (WRS-AH), based on a work readiness scale for a generic population of graduates, was validated and refined using an exploratory factor analysis. Results: Participants were 245 Australian allied health professional graduates who completed the WRS-AH. An exploratory factor analysis supported a four-factor solution with domains (interpersonal capabilities, practical wisdom, personal attributes, and organisational acumen) similar to the original WRS. The final WRS-AH32 had 32 items, demonstrated good reliability, and explained 38% of the total variance. Using the WRS-AH32, on average, the Australian allied health graduates reported an overall work readiness score of 80% (SD 8) with scores highest for practical wisdom (Mean 90%, SD 8) and lowest for personal attributes (Mean 65%, SD 14). Conclusions: The WRS-AH32 confirms that work readiness is a multi-dimensional construct, reflecting that work within a dynamic, 21st century healthcare system requires more than just profession specific work competence. The WRS-AH may provide a more targeted approach to interventions to improve work readiness in future allied health professional graduates. Recommendations: The WRS-AH32 is a reliable scale to measure the perceived work readiness of allied health graduates as they transition from university to the workforce however ongoing validation is needed to establish construct validity.
The authors of this study would like to recognise the contributions of Professor Lindy McAllister and Dr Srivalli Nagarajan of the University of Sydney in the development of the original 62-item Work Readiness Scale for Allied Health Professionals, and in participant recruitment during Phase 1 of this study.
Lawton V, Ilhan E, Pacey V, Jones TM, Walker A, Dean CM. A Work Readiness Scale for Allied Health Graduates. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Dec 15;22(1), Article 16.