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Getting graduates work-ready

Graduates need to have both academic and practical skills if they hope to find employment and grow in their careers.

Graduates need to have both academic and practical skills if they hope to find employment and grow in their careers.

However many are finding themselves unprepared to manage the demands of their first job due to a lack of work-readiness skills.

What Is Work-Readiness?

To be 'work ready' means to possess and be able to apply the skills, mindset and attributes required by modern business in order to make a meaningful contribution to the organisation.

Sadly, employers are discovering that graduates and new recruits are often ill-equipped to handle the day-to-day pressures of work life and workplace expectations.

To thrive in the modern business environment requires the right combination of attributes and skills according to Dave Augustyn, CEO of GradCampus.com

It not enough for students to have the qualifications. They need to have a mix of soft skills that include "problem solving, interpersonal skills, goal setting, emotional intelligence, business ethics, teamwork, communication and work ethic."

Facing The Facts

So why are young people so ill prepared to enter the workforce?

According to Augustyn there are a number of factors that negatively impact on the work-readiness of our young people.

"The cost of education and also the availability of affordable further and higher education contribute to the general poor level of workplace-readiness of young people."

"Living costs are high and too many families simply do not have the means to invest in further and higher education for their children. "

Educational authorities have also acknowledged the gap in work-readiness training within most academic courses.

Educational institutions, particularly universities focus on theoretical knowledge transfer and fail to properly prepare students for the workplace says University World News

According to the report graduates "take longer than expected to become productive, nearly doubling staff costs in a majority of organisations."

A Training Solution

GradCampus aims to help students by getting them work-ready or in a position to start a small business.

"With a little help, our students should be much better prepared to enter the job market successfully, or earn an income to enable them to pursue further studies and eventually, higher ambitions and career objectives."

GradCampus offer six Career Builder Programmes (CBPs) as supported online learning programmes. These programmes are aimed specifically at school leavers and young graduates wanting to prepare themselves for the world of work, or to start their own small businesses. All the programmes include modules dealing with work-readiness skills and attributes, in addition to the modules within the specific programme’s area of specialisation which are: E-entrepreneurship; Project Management; Small Business Management; Sales and Digital Marketing; Event Management and Customer Service and Administration.

"We aim to expose the student to typical stuff they may come across in the workplace."

On completion of the programmes, students will be invited to join the business network to get give them a head-start in finding business- and employment opportunities.

Scholarships have also been made available by the SCRS Group for students wishing to enrol into any of the six online Career Builder Programmes offered by Gradcampus.com. This is in support of accessibility to education and to promote workplace readiness for young South Africans. A total amount of R300 000 has been granted for this purpose and applications will be considered on a first come first served basis.

For details and application forms visit www.gradcampus.com

By Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing

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