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Getting our students ready for the job market

A college education must extend beyond the academic curriculum if we are to produce students who are ready to face the world of work.

Jonathan Berr, an award-winning journalist and podcaster based in New Jersey, whose main focus is on business and economic issues, in an article published on Money Watch reported that according to a survey released by PayScale, which provides data on salaries, and executive development firm Future Workplace, nearly 90 percent of all recent college graduates considered themselves well prepared for their jobs.

Unfortunately for young employees, only half of hiring managers shared that opinion. More than half of all companies (60 percent) said new graduates lacked critical thinking skills and attention to detail (56 percent), while 44 percent found fault with their writing proficiency, and 39 percent were critical of their public speaking ability.

We hear all the time about the ‘skills gap,’ the gap between the skills needed to succeed in the professional world and the skills with which young professionals leave college. These skills refer not only to hard skills but to soft skills which are valued in the workplace. So who is responsible to ensure that college students are trained to develop these soft skills?

I believe that this is a collective college responsibility. Lecturers should teach students the value of timekeeping through the insistence on class attendance and punctuality. The curriculum should be structured to promote contextual learning or application learning. The overall campus ethos should promote an understanding of a professional work ethic amongst students. Our college WIL (Work Integrated Learning) also exposes students to work place expectations and professional conduct.

False Bay College has partnered with the International Youth Foundation to introduce the Passport to Success programme. This programme recognizes the life skills that are needed to bridge the skills gap between college graduates and needs of employers. It aims to prepare young people for the world of work through a structured life skills programme.

“Passport to Success prepares young people to be the kind of employees every company wants to hire and retain: responsible, motivated, and engaged team players.” – Christopher J. Nassetta, President & CEO, Hilton.

Staff of the college recently underwent training to facilitate PTS sessions, which the college is planning to pilot with our engineering students in 2018.

Author: Ms Karin Hendrick

For more information, contact False Bay College


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