Career centres to help students

2010-07-28 00:00

AS many South Africans have discovered, obtaining a degree does not automatically result in a job.

Work experience is often what employers look for in an applicant. But for candidates fresh out of tertiary institutions, this often presents a tricky situation.

To address this problem, Varsity College has introduced on-site career centres at its campuses across the country. Among other things, it hopes these centres will facilitate part-time employment opportunities for students and provide them with “softer skills” to add value to the theoretical knowledge gained in lecture rooms.

“We are very excited about this initiative, which forms part of our commitment to delivering on our brand promise of developing students for their careers,” said Trish Trompeter, Varsity College’s national head of department.

While she said students are not guaranteed part-time employment, the centres are expected to make a marked contribution towards the students’ level of employability.

Trompeter believes that a career centre will be more than just a job-placement facility. She said it will help students to experience the whole process, which she believes will equip them with skills that can be used later on in life.

The skills to be developed include creating a comprehensive and professional CV to reflect a student’s formal education, capabilities and achievements.

Students will also receive coaching for job interviews by learning the importance of promptness, appropriate dress code, verbal and non-verbal communication, and how to persevere throughout the job-seeking process.

According to the college, the initiative will be implemented across three areas of focus. For part-time work, the career centre will focus on an online IT solutions, where students are matched with possible employers seeking part-time employees.

The next phase includes the World of Work (WoW), where students will be encouraged to participate in a WoW programme that will equip them with work readiness skills as well as exposing them to appropriate industries. Lastly, there will be a Graduate Placement Programme, where the focus will be on promoting students in their relevant industries.

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