Higher learning institutions are churning out graduates who are not adequately prepared for the rigors of the work environment as they lack skills for a smooth transition to their respective professional careers.
Human Resource experts have therefore revealed the need to equip students with the requisite soft skills in a move that will not only ensure they are employable and become successful in the competitive job market.
This was reported during the Afrika Transition Hub Human Resource (HR) Month Employability workshop at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), in a bid to provide a platform for students to meet professionals from the industry Thursday, July 15, 2021.
With the huge demand for a competent work force in the world today, employers have raised the bar on the quality of employees required. This has limited the available opportunities for the fresh graduates who have to go a long way to acquire the requisite skills to boost their employability chances.
According to the Afrika Transition Hub (ATH), Executive Director, Mr. Jeffrey Ferezy, graduates are facing hurdles in seeking and retaining employment which he noted, is emotional and physically draining.
He observed that the workshop will help to bridge the gap between class work and the job environment as students will meet recruiting experts especially human resource professionals who will share job recruitment insights and tips.
“This workshop is aimed at providing a platform to fine tune the youth and primarily the students’ skills by enlightening them on how the professional world works,” explained Mr. Ferezy.
The Director said the programme which is running for the sixth year is targeting at least 15 universities to bring them on board as a way of making sure as many students benefit.
Speaking at the event, Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM), Head of Corporate Affairs and Communication, Mrs. Irene Kimacia urged the students to seize such opportunities as they will be scarce once they complete their studies.
As the adage goes, weak men wait for opportunities, strong men make them, Mrs. Kimacia challenged the participants not to let fear define them, noting that surrounding oneself with high performance individuals is a huge motivating factor.
“As young individuals, your value will increase once you prove your worth in providing solutions to problems facing the society. Build your brand and be authentic,” stated Kimacia, who was also the Chief Guest.
According to the Dean of Students, Dr. Fredah Wanzala, the workshop was timely for final year students, and an important step in shaping their perspective on the demands of the dynamic labour market.
She exuded confidence that the participants would gain soft skills that will endear them to the employers and assured the students that opportunities are available particularly to those who are equipped with invaluable skills.
“As an institution we believe that students not only require education to thrive in the world today, but they also require essential skills that will produce a holistic individual,” said Dr. Wanzala who also appreciated the collaboration between industry and the University on.
On the impact of the workshop, Mercy Kyalo, a Fourth-Year Environmental student from JKUAT said the event had impacted her with important skills namely interview presentation, how to write a good curriculum vitae and communication skills among others.
“This event has been a huge eye opener in the skills and experience required in the job market. I have gained confidence on how I will package myself and I hope to impact the same to my fellow students,” said, Ms. Kyalo.
During the workshop that initiated through concerted efforts between IHRM and ITH, participants were tipped on how to prepare for an interview process, and CV writing as well as an opportunity to interact with the HR experts from various institutions.