Goal2Work trains science graduates in handling job searches.
"Employers from the science sector have highlighted a gap in generic skills among science graduates when applying for jobs and subsequently during interviews".
Employers from the science sector have highlighted a gap in generic skills among science graduates when applying for jobs and subsequently during interviews.
In an attempt to close the gap, the Limpopo CoLab at the University of Limpopo (UL) hosted a workshop dubbed 'Goal2Work' for unemployed science graduates from UL and the University of Venda. The programme is designed to facilitate and develop the graduates' understanding of the steps involved in conducting job searches.
The Limpopo CoLab is a community engagement programme founded in 2012 between UL and the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. It aims to bridge technological disparities to marginalised communities by participating in the digital literacy training of unemployed youth, sector users and ICT practitioners. According to Limpopo CoLab's Stakeholder Coordinator, Andrew Scholtz, the Goal2Work workshop equips graduates with methods of job hunting and job search tools as well as factors considered in a coordinated approach.
The three-day workshop for science graduates was divided into three phases. Phasel included planning, skills analysis and Curriculum Vitae (CV) preparation; Phase 2 dealt with background screening, target marketing and job advertisements while Phase 3 focused on handling job interviews. The graduates were guided and trained in uncovering their strength, skills and how to approach the job market.
Scholtz says the programme gives job seekers a far higher success rate at securing employment "I trust the graduates will use their newly-found skills to gain meaningful employment. Being without a job is a huge concern, particularly when there's a shortage of skills in the country," Scholtz states, adding that seven in ten sought-after skills in South Africa are technology-related.
Goal2Work Facilitator, Mulungisi Nxumalo says professional conduct is one of the critical skills that graduates should possess. "Sometimes when they are employed, their behaviour is found to be unprofessional and Goal2Work strives to empower them in that area as well," he explains.
A BSc in Physical Sciences graduate from UL, Ishmael Lekgoro, says he has learnt that nifty-gritties like putting together a CV could be a daunting exercise. "I wanted to learn how to sell my skills to secure my ideal job. I realised that I haven't been organising my CV the way employers expected," he observes.
Lekgoro says he has also learnt about the importance of editing a CV for spelling mistakes "because a slight error can destroy the chances of one getting employed. And I've observed that one's behaviour on social media defines who they are in the eyes of employers, and contributes immensely to building or destroying our profiles."
Goal2Work Trains Science Graduates and other learners nationwide in South Africa.
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