Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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The intricacies of developing a work readiness programme for South African Business degree students
Karen Marion Dos reis

Last modified: 25-06-2019


Global research studies have shown that student perceive their academic qualifications as having a declining role in shaping their employment outcomes. While academic credentials are still seen as a significant dimension of their employability, students increasingly see the need to add value to them in order to gain an advantage in the labour market. To mitigate these concerns, a work readiness programme was developed to educate students about professional behaviour, dress etiquete and ethics necessary for the work place.


It is against this backdrop that undergraduate in the Economics and Management Sciences were invited to participate in a pilot study to develop a work readiness programme. About eighty six business degree students participated voluntarily and attended several workshop by human resources industry experts such as HR talent managers, consultants and directors. Students who successfully completed the programme by doing an online assessment were automatically registered on a database to find short term employment in a business where they practice the graduate attributes for the world of work. The major challenges encountered while developing this programme were as follows: convincing employers to provide short term work placements and modify the programme several times for both students and employers.


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