Advice to school leavers and what companies can do to help them
It can be argued that most companies expect a candidate to have completed some form of tertiary studies, and indeed many companies may not consider an incumbent who has not obtained this prerequisite. For those who are in a fortunate enough position to be able to pursue some form of tertiary education after school, there are many aspects that need to be considered before going ahead with a desired course of study. What should be asked is "What is my ultimate career path?" and "What is it that I am going to need to do in order to achieve my career aspirations?"
A study conducted found that most school leavers felt as though they went into University not having a sound knowledge or understanding of different industries and job portfolios at all. With that being said many will wonder if they would have studied what they did, had they had a more solid platform of information from which to make a sound and informed decision from, and the answer most often is no. "Being exposed to so many different job portfolios and potential roles within diverse industries, opportunities within the market place truly are limitless, and it is a lack of knowledge and information that ultimately hinders our pursuing these roles," says Lindsey Wessels, IT Recruitment Consultant at the Recruitgroup.
So how does one find out more about these possible careers, and more importantly who is responsible for imparting this information? Yes it is true that companies may come into Universities to discuss internships and possible learnership programmes once students have completed their studies, but surely many of those classes would be twice as full had these students been advised while still in secondary school? Indeed it should be on the onus of the prospective student to find out more information pertaining to their studies, but companies, tertiary institutions and indeed the government should be volunteering more insightful information and making themselves more available to discuss their particular industries as well as the opportunities within their organisations in order to assist school leavers in making a more informed decision about their careers.
What needs to be remembered is the role a person is appointed to within a company will be largely dependent on their qualifications relevant to the particular role. Seeing as though much of a persons life is spent working and indeed most of their day spent at work, surely it is vital to be doing something that is enjoyable and fulfilling? Lindsey advises: "Take the time to investigate different industries and companies, find out what it is you would be required to do and what skills you will need in order to fill the responsibilities of the role. Taking the time to consider all of this is not something that should be rushed, and while it may not be something you are interested in at a young age, it is indeed going to have an impact on your future." For these reasons school leavers should expose themselves to as many information portals as possible, whether it be to speak with student advisors, teachers or taking part in initiatives such as 'take a girl child to school' where a learner spends the day in a company with a significant adult, to understand what goes on in the day to day tasks of that particular career. Companies too can encourage this interaction by inviting students to spend the day at their offices. These options can open a whole new door of ideas for a career that have never even been thought of.
Another solution to this problem could be for companies, universities and the Department of Education to consolidate their faculties by means of a spokesperson that can provide students with the information they will need in order to determine career paths and how they would go about achieving these career aspirations. Through the joint effort of education institutions and private companies as well as the government one will have an opportunity to make a guided and informed decision based on insightful facts about companies, industries and skills sets required.
In a skills short market, can it not be argued that it is perhaps not a lack of skills but a lack of knowledge which is preventing companies and corporates from obtaining the skills required for their specific industries? If these same companies were going out to the schools and discussing the possibilities with prospective future employees would they not be in a better position to develop the skills themselves and in so doing provide a solution to the skills shortage in the market place?
These are all possibilities that can help companies nurture talent from a young age and in turn encourage students into careers that will not only benefit the student but the country as a whole.
Lindsey Wessels - IT Recruitment Consultant, Recruit IT Solutions
58 Thembi place
011 465 3360
More Recruitgroup articles
Visit our PRESS OFFICE:
As a result of our positive expansion and growth since the inception of Recruit IT Solutions in 2006, the Recruit Group was officially registered as the holding company for our divisions and is made up of; Recruit IT Solutions, Recruit Mi and Recruit Fin. The Group has experienced positive growth throughout the global recession and further expansion plans are on the cards in the near future. We put our successes down to our unique recruitment approach, powered by iMethodology, as well as our great people.- more....