Work-readiness is the primary goal of higher education and a crucial component of job performance. Universities are intended to provide graduates with the necessary employable skills and knowledge to contribute significantly to the economic development of a country. Many criticisms are levelled at the university system in Sri Lanka for failing to fulfil one of the main goals of university education, which is to equip an undergraduate for a job role. The consensus of experts in the educational sector is that the Sri Lankan education system is not producing appropriately employable graduates, especially in the disciplines of the social sciences and management (Ariyawansa,2008). Accordingly, the primary objective of the present explanatory study aimed to analyse the nature and strength of the relationship between graduate employability capital and the work readiness of management undergraduates in Sri Lankan state universities to address the gap in the literature about Sri Lanka in the given area. To this end, five hypotheses were tested to measure the nature of the relationship between work readiness and five components of graduate employability capital: human capital, cultural capital, identity capital, social capital, and psychological capital. Three hundred and ninety-four undergraduates were selected as prescribed by Krejcie and Morgan (1970), using the stratified sampling method with respondents representing all state universities in Sri Lanka. The findings revealed that the tested five factors correlated positively with the level of work readiness of undergraduates. Moreover, the results showed that the highest positive correlation of the level of work readiness was with psychological capital, the second-highest positive correlation was with social capital and the lowest positive correlation was with cultural capital. Accordingly, the findings demonstrated that the level of psychological capital and social capital of management undergraduates strongly predicts their work readiness.
Keywords: Employability, Employability Skills, Graduate Employability, Work Readiness