Education is changing: technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate and, more importantly, the economic climate has changed what students need to prepare them for life after school. Job competition is fiercer, and employers—faced with a greater pool of candidates—have higher expectations when it comes to the skills they want in their employees. The problem is, many school children are not encouraged to develop the right skills needed for work, simply because these skills are not taught at school. Our Industry Engagement Programme (IEP) is a career development programme specifically designed to give students the very skills employers want—without being a burden to their workload.
School leavers don’t have the right skills and career advice in schools is lacking
The high percentage of school leavers who are ill-prepared for work is a worrying reality. A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants found that over 80% of school leavers require significant training in their first jobs after school. And when you consider that 82% of business surveyed for CBI’s 2016 Education and Skills survey believe that the quality of career advice in schools courses and career development is not good enough, it’s little wonder that there’s a gap between what employers are looking for and what school leavers offer. However, this skills gap is easily remedied with the right career development programme. Our IEP develops:
The fact that your students got perfect grades is far less important to employers than you might think. CBI’s research, cited above, found that 89% of employers value attitude to work in their top three attributes in employees, followed by aptitude to work (66% of employers rating this a highly desirable quality). Formal qualifications, while important, won’t get your students as far in their quest to find employment as their work-readiness skills. Our IEP focuses on instilling the skills—communication, problem-solving, analytical, interview—that will help students develop a strong work ethic and positive attitude towards work and their careers.
Career planning is a pivotal component of cultivating work readiness. In order to forge a fulfilling career path, students must develop the self-awareness that helps them determine what they want from their careers and how their individual strengths and interests can help them achieve their goals. Our career development programme guides students in this process to discover the career strategies that will help them achieve their ambitions.
Although school education encourages certain forms of communications skills—drama, essay writing, debating—50% of employers still think that school leavers’ communication skills are lacking. Communication skills are required from the moment your students write their CV and send out a job application, during the interview process and years into their careers. Communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal, are another key focus of the IEP.
Besides establishing work-readiness skills and marrying these to a detailed career development plan, networking skills are important for ensuring that your students’ career dreams become a reality. Professional networks will give job seekers the support, guidance and opportunities they require to put their career plans into action.
The IEP career planning programme will give your students the skills that many of them lack, and enhance the education they receive under your tutelage. These skills will set them up for a long and rewarding career—whichever path they choose—and give them the edge employers are looking for. Contact us to discuss how we can help your students prepare for the next chapter of their lives with our career development programme.