Sustainable Employability: The Development of a Comprehensive Framework

The 2017 National Employment Solutions Conference is on this November!

Dr Sabrina Pit, Workforce Research Stream Leader at Western Sydney University joins us to discuss “Sustainable employability: the development of a comprehensive framework”.

Sustainable Employability: Developing a Comprehensive Framework
Sabrina Pit


There is an increased interest to study sustainable employability (SE) due to ageing populations and changing work environments. There are several theories and models that explain certain aspects of work and employability. However, there is a paucity of comprehensive frameworks that incorporate all elements of sustainable employability. This study aimed to distinguish the major elements of sustainable employability and to structure these elements into a multi-dimensional framework. This framework will help summarise, organise and explain the large quantities of concepts within sustainable employability.


The literature and SE textbooks were explored for existing theories and elements of sustainable employability. A conceptual framework was designed, followed by an online cross-sectional survey to seek feedback from experts. Experts were asked whether each concept should be kept changed or deleted. Data triangulation was used to compare quantitative and qualitative data.


A multi-dimensional framework of SE was developed consisting of the following main levels: person, occupational networks, work, organisation, career, labour market, macro factors and proxy outcome measures. Each level consists of sub-concepts. Participants (n=49) were health and well-being, business, education and training, human resources, entrepreneurs, and sustainable employability experts and came from various countries. On average, the highest ‘keep’ rates were found on organisational and career level. The full model will be shown.


This new framework is an inventory of the concept SE. It adds complexity, additional concepts, depth and details to existing models. Policy makers, researchers, business owners, organisations and individuals could use this framework to get a deeper understanding of sustainable employability. The framework may assist in identifying which elements can be used to evaluate or promote sustainable employability on personal, job, team, organisational, regional or national level and form the basis for a measurement tool.

The 2017 National Employment Solutions Conference will be held at Mantra Legends on the Gold Coast from Thursday the 16th to Friday the 17th of November 2017.  It will be a platform for policy makers, academics, employers, human resource managers, recruitment services, association and “not-for-profit” representatives.

Secure your seat for the Conference here!