It is commonplace across the global landscape that thousands of students graduate from public schools, colleges and universities annually, having reached the age for superannuation or on the completion of a specific course of study.
The vast majority of graduates attending these institutions fall in the 18-35 age category. For the most part, these graduates exit the education system with qualifications that confirm they have completed a course of study which equips them primarily with a level of knowledge. In some instances, the level of knowledge is complemented with acquired skills and competencies. This apart, what stands out as lacking in the total package is work experience.
The lack of work experience often proves to be a sore thumb for most young people who enter the labour market. They come with the expectation that the knowledge, skills, competencies and abilities which they have acquired, are what is needed in order to make them marketable and employable. In a competitive job market, the possibility largely looms that many of those who are seeking to find jobs, will face the uphill challenge of attaining the job of their choice.
It brings us to query if those entering the world of work are prepared for what they are to expect in their quest to gain employment and to satisfy their individual hopes and dreams. The inaugural World of Work Showcase was launched in 2016 in Barbados. The 2017 edition which is scheduled to be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Wednesday, October 11, is intended to provide young persons between the ages of 16-35, with insights on how best to prepare for their entry into world of work.
This preparation is something that cannot be left per chance. The showcase serves the useful purpose of helping participants to better understand the things which they need to carefully consider prior to entering the job market, while at the same time, being cognizant of what is required of them if they are to make themselves employable.
The World of Work Showcase goes beyond the narrow boundaries of a career showcase, as it is intended to introduce young prospective workers to the expectations of employers, and to understanding the fundamentals of the work culture. It is important that young prospective workers are made to appreciate the fact that work is more than just a job or vocation. It is for these reasons that all educational and training institutions should want to encourage graduating students to attend the upcoming World of Work Showcase.
The CDI Career Development Institute provides an appropriate rationale that provides a prefect reason why counsellors and advisers in education and training institutions and employers should support the World of Work Showcase. The point was made that “Young people require good quality careers education and advice in order to make informed decisions and the earlier this guidance can be provided, the better so that teenagers can be inspired by future possibilities and have time to obtain the skills and qualifications they need.”
In addressing the question of young graduates as to why they should attend the World of Work Showcase, it gives them the opportunity to assess their readiness for entry into the world of work. This includes their perceptions of the world of work, and awareness of the soft skills such as enthusiasm, communication and problem solving skills that are desired by employers.
The presence of business enterprises, recruiting agencies, training and development institutions will certainly enhance the quality of the Showcase. The opportunity can be used by enterprises or their agencies to recruit qualified, skilled and talented young workers, who may be offered apprenticeship, job attachments or even full time employment. On the other, some may readily avail themselves to higher education programmes, and vocational training opportunities.
(Dennis De Peiza is a labour management consultant with Regional Management Services Inc. Visit our Website: www.regionalmanagement services.com. Send your comments to: [email protected])