Preparing for the world of work

Posted on July 23, 2018

Finding a job is becoming increasingly difficult. The job market is continuously evolving and there is an increasing demand for tertiary institutions to produce graduates who are employable, in the sense that they have a range of knowledge, skills and attributes that will enable them to succeed in the world of work and in life.

The 21st century work environment requires a much more multi-skilled and self-sufficient labour force. Graduates need skills that enhance their graduate and personal profile, to be successful in their chosen occupations, as well as skills that will assist them to contribute meaningfully to the workforce, the community and the economy.

Dr Elmarie Liebenberg, Deputy Director: Student Services at the University of Pretoria (UP) says there is a growing need for graduates to be work-ready when they are about to enter the job market for the first time.  "Graduates should realise that a degree is no longer enough to guarantee your employment or a satisfying career. More and more companies are looking for work-ready graduates with job-specific skills – over and above academic qualifications – with which they can start making a difference."

But how can students increase their chances of securing a great job?

In conjunction with Enterprises UP, the University offers a work-readiness initiative available on clickUP, which assists students to become more employment-ready so that they can integrate into the workplace with the necessary confidence, knowledge and skills, by being “career-fit”.

Dr Liebenberg says the programme is free of charge to UP students and to graduates for a period of two years after graduating. "The programme covers aspects of career planning, job preparation, workplace skills and personal development and offers an excellent opportunity for students to acquire the necessary skills to get a foot in the employment door. We urge our student to enrol for this programme, but even more crucial, to complete the programme so that they can reap the benefits when they enter the workplace.”

The programme consists of four packages. The career planning package helps you to plan a successful career and enhance job satisfaction, select potential employers that fit your overall career goals, enhance your CV and learn the basics of entering the workplace. This is followed by the job preparation package that focuses on setting up your professional digital profile and possible skills needed to seek job prospects, such as interview skills and writing winning cover letters.

The third package puts your workplace skills into practice by helping you follow instructions more accurately, making you aware of what is allowed in the workplace (and what is not) and also how to communicate professionally. The personal development package provides you with the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, focusing on emotional intelligence, stress management and how to work with your personal finances.

Students can enrol on clickUP for the Ready for Work Programme.

- Author Liesel Swart

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