My oh my, it has surely taken long for this to arrive on the pages of our tabloid. What now ails you, Mr Employer????? Just today once again the conversation steered around to those who are gainfully employed needing to become gainfully unemployed quick a clock. Every other person is advertising their degrees, masters while at the same time lacking greatly in social development. Quite frankly I agree with every word outlined in this piece. I have been speaking to this lack for years. Senior managers have lamented to me their frustration in conducting interviews as di stock nuh ready, nuh matter what di paperwork sey.
The sad thing is if you try to engage this line of conversation with many of these groups of people, they are easily offended. Refusing to listen and learn. They have no finesse and are as ordinary as they come. When they are passed over for promotion they begin to jump on this bandwagon that plays this popular tune, ‘ole people want to keep dem down’. They have never asked them self this question? Am I able to represent the Brand outside of my 2×4 office space where the familiar faces exists around me? If you were asked to attend a meeting on behalf of your boss where you were going to meet a few executives for the first time, how would you fair? Can you communicate effectively without using the slangs that you are not even aware you are using ie, u understand, u know, yeah, yeah, arm, arm etc etc etc? How confident are you really outside of your comfort zone? Have that conversation with those persons and the boxing gloves are soon fitted on and before you know it, you have become an enemy of the state to them. Tragic!!!!!
Quite frankly, I have made a decision a long time ago. If I have a concern and request to speak to the supervisor and or manager. If the supervisor comes out. I take a good look from head to toe, voice my concern and listen keenly to their response. By the time they get to the third word, I have said on numerous occasions, sorry you cannot help me. I refuse to voice my concerns to persons in supervisory and management positions who does not have a good command of the English language. It becomes extremely frustrating as their understanding of the issue is never grasped as they possess no analytical or reasoning skills. Quickly their emotions take over and they become offended and defensive due to their lack. I have learnt from experience and so when I face those situations, I am quick to put my concerns in writing to hopefully who I refer to as the ‘organ grinder’. Organ grinders are usually higher up the food chain and once you put things in writing they will respond.
Where do we go from here? Simple if you ask me. Prospective employees must be able to pass a face to face interview with minimum 90% grading. Academics and physicality I am sad to say cannot be the sole driving force in employment. One can be groomed physically far quicker than it is to groom the certified in ‘soft skills’ especially when they think they have arrived based on their attitude. Let us see how many will have known this article existed much less to read it.
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Some tertiary graduates lacking ‘soft skills’ for employment
(Jamaica Observer) Tuesday, February 21, 2017 35 Comments
ONE of Jamaica’s senior educators is lamenting that some secondary and tertiary students are leaving school without the requisite skills that will make them readily employable for emerging careers.
According to Dr Merrit Henry, what students have not realised is that they need to examine and focus on what their skills and competences are and how they can use them to move into areas of employment. Failure to do this, she said, will result in them not self-actualising.
Henry was addressing yesterday’s
Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange on the issue of whether the education system is producing young job seekers with the kills demanded by employers.
She argued that, although some careers have, or are being petered out, some graduates are not meeting the demands for emerging careers in areas such as information technology, social media, communications, and logistics.
“I think that there is a greater demand than what we are putting out. Obviously, if requests are being made and we can’t fill them, then there is a greater demand than we are supplying. There needs to be a more structured approach to the whole area of career development, not only at the secondary level, but also at the tertiary level,” said Henry, the student services and development Manager in the Office of Placement and Career Services, at The University of the West Indies, Mona.
While she accepted that academics is mandatory, Henry argued that soft skills such as the ability to communicate effectively, solve problems, think critically and creatively, and to exercise commitment and dedication are also relevant.
“Students need to be exposed to labour market information from very early so that they do not only choose based on their interest and based on what is easy for them, but choose on interest and abilities and demand, what it is now and what it will be over the next five to 10 years,” she explained.
Added to that, executive director of Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE) Alicia Glasgow-Gentles remarked that some employers have expressed frustration that a number of graduates lack employment skills.
“The BPO (business process outsourcing) industry is a burgeoning one, where thousands of jobs are anticipated over the next couple of years. And the BPO service providers are complaining that they are getting applications from university level graduates [but] a lot of them are lacking employment skills which translate to work readiness. These young people are graduating from school and do not know the skills that are required to be work ready,” she shared.
As a result, Glasgow-Gentles said the New Employment Opportunities project, a regional initiative dedicated to improving the quality of the workforce and the employability of poor and vulnerable youth in Latin America and the Caribbean, is being used to correct this.
The project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. The Jamaican arm is being executed by YUTE and aims to increase job opportunities for 10,000 youth, ages 17 to 29.
“We are providing employability skills through a programme we call the passport to success. It’s a programme that was developed by the International Youth Foundation and has been implemented in over 80 countries worldwide which, in essence, provides a curriculum that allows people to get ready for work,” Glasgow-Gentles said.
“So you may have the technical skills, you may have the vocational skills, you may have the educational skills, but if you are lacking in social and life skills employers are not going to take you on,” she said.