But how and where can they start building the track record of experience so desired by employers? Recently, Boston City Campus and Business College launched the Experience It! programe to help students get started. "Finding hands -on experience and skills is a challenge that continues to plague students across the board, "says Ari Katz CEO of Boston City Campus and Business College.
"We believe the time is ripe for teachers together with the private and public sectors to address this challenge and by working together, we can make a difference to the lives of thousands of students."
Through the Experience It! programme, Boston will be assisting students in gaining some form of work experience to add to their CVs, so that when they apply for permanent jobs, they have real time work skills and experience to offer hiring companies.
The process is simple: interested students apply for Experience It! opportunities at the Boston branch they're studying at and the college then places them at a company for an agreed period of time, usually between six weeks and three months.
"It's not a new concept", comments Katz, "except that our programme is not to be run on an ad hoc basis but will, instead, become an integral part of our education offering. We have employed staff full-time to run the programme."
The Experience It! staff consult contact companies regarding their staffing needs for 2011 and beyond and then begin grooming students towards the vacancies identified. Participating companies are invited to select as many students as they need to fill temporary vacancies such as those that arise when people go on annual, study or maternity leave. The benefit for companies is that they don't have to commit to taking new employees; yet should they decide to employ a student permanently they may do so.
"While the intention is to line up work position for learners who will be qualifying towards the end of 2011, many positions are being advertised in our branches right now for immediate placement.
While we are not asking companies to pay learners, employers are willing to do so, realizing that a motivated pupil performs better and is more productive.
"It's a win-win situation for all involved. We're thrilled with the interest shown by companies so far; these include Emperors Palace, Rectron (IT Company), Call Force, PAG (both recruitment companies), Mo-B (digital marketing) and Ernst and Young (one of the largest accounting firms in SA), 1Time Airlines, Comair Airlines, Bidvest Bank, Jawitz Properties and Agent Orange Design among many more.
But it's not only currently enrolled students that stand a chance to benefit from Experience It! - school pupils are invited to participate in the Experience It! TV campaign. This leg of the programme entails three-minute features that are being shown on e.tv every Monday evening, with each show featuring a specific career. Under the scrutiny of TV cameras, selected pupils visit a company to find out more about the careers they're investigating for their future.
Viewers can follow the learners and the presenters as they find out the ins and outs of each career. Students, who are chosen for the TV slot and decide to pursue the featured career, are awarded a bursary to study at Boston City Campus and Business College.
Learners wishing to participate in the Experience it! programme should CLICK HERE
Companies wishing to participate should view CLICK HERE
For more information view the Boston Facebook Page
or call 011 551 2000.