Becoming a work-ready graduate through UP initiatives

DANICA CHARLES

UP is trying to produce ‘work-ready’ students through the Career Services Unit. Career Services aims to provide advice and assistance to UP students and graduates in preparation for their careers. The Career Services Unit attempts to achieve this through online courses, assistance with CVs, cover or motivational letters, advice on career planning, psychometric assessment preparation, job searches, job applications, preparation for interviews and work readiness workshops. The unit also ensures that students are exposed to work experience through student hire, which enables students to acquire basic soft skills.

Career Services also assists students in accessing available on-campus jobs. Career Services simplifies contact between the work world and students through career fairs, career presentations and individual exhibitions. In conjunction with Enterprises UP, the unit also offers a work-readiness initiative, Ready for Work, which prepares graduates by providing skills training, additional to academic competence or work experience. The Career Services uses an online platform called TuksCareers, allowing students and Alumni to network with potential employers, whereby they will be able to view employers registered on the database, get notifications of upcoming events, search and view job opportunities, access useful resources, view frequently asked questions and ask their own questions. Students can obtain career advice by visiting the Career Services office or booking an appointment online.

There are free skills development courses online, with a programme consisting of four course packages that include free modules for UP students or pay-per-course options with a nominal fee for those who are not enrolled students at UP. The free online courses are available to assist with career planning through an introduction to career planning, researching careers and researching potential employers. According to the Deputy Director of Student Services, Elmarie Liebenberg, “Graduates should realise that a degree is no longer enough to guarantee employment […]. Companies are increasingly looking for work-ready graduates who, in addition to their academic qualifications, have job-specific skills that will enable them to start making a difference.” This unit is a division of Student Services, located in the Old Chemistry building on the Hatfield campus.

 

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