WorkFit Promotes TVET College – Employer Partnerships in Port Elizabeth
On Friday, 12 April the WorkFit Campaign was invited to present to Port Elizabeth’s monthly Human Resources (HR) Forum. This event was held at Harambee’s PE offices and hosted 70 individuals from different organisations, all with an interest in HR practices and youth employability.
The event was filled with engaging conversations around youth entering the workplace and touched on the various challenges that employers experience. Some of these challenges included:
The Culture of the Organisation
Youth entering the workplace need to acclimatise to the culture of the organisation. This is made difficult as there is often no appropriate welcome or onboarding to the business which helps integrate new joiners into the culture.
Lack of Soft Skills
Youth entering the workplace lack the necessary soft skills that are required ranging from not knowing how to dress appropriately for the workplace to meeting etiquette. Notably soft skills do not form a curriculum component in most formal TVET curricula, although this is beginning to change. Even when they may be part of a formal curriculum, the behavioural aspects of soft skills cannot be taught in the conventional sense, and require instead modelling and life experience.
Youth Integration into the Organisation
The actual task of integrating youth into an organisation is difficult as there is not sufficient time for a proper induction. New joiners are needed to perform almost as soon as they join.
Youth entering the workplace for the first time, may think they’ll be doing work immediately related to their studies rather than working their way up from the bottom, and progressing by merit from more menial tasks to more significant ones.
Lack of Experience and Network
With no prior on-the-job training or internships, the adjustment to the working world can be very difficult for youth, especially for disadvantaged youth who may come from families where neither parent is employed. This challenge is further exacerbated by the fact that they are new to the organisation and do not have a network of people to ask for help or guidance
Accurate and Updated Career Information
With no definitive way of knowing what careers are available at different organisations, and more importantly what the requirements for these careers are, youth are struggling to find employment or create self-employment.
Importantly, these challenges along with the many others that exist, form the obstacle course that the youth face on their journey from education to employment. Only by bridging the disconnect between educational institutions and employers can these challenges start to be mitigated.
WorkFit is grateful for the PE HR Forum’s interest and engagement at the event and we look forward to supporting you on our Slack Community of Practice in the future. If you haven’t already shared your anonymous story of TVET – Employer collaboration for our SenseMaker survey, please click here to submit it now.