UKZN students from the School of Law and the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics were awarded certificates for completing a Workplace Readiness Programme.
Sponsored by non-profit organisation IQRAA Trust South Africa and facilitated by the Young Leaders Academy (YLA), the programme is aimed at bridging the current gap that exists in the workplace between graduates and employers.
IQRAA Trust South Africa, Executive Chairman, Dr Mahmoud Youssef-Baker said his organisation believes that education and good training are vital in addressing issues of poverty, unemployment and income disparity in South Africa. ‘With this programme, we are trying to narrow the gap between the rich and poor by giving students the opportunity to progress and secure a good job because in South Africa that is not easy,’ he said.
Advocate Mahomed Vahed, who runs and facilitates YLA, said the workplace readiness programme was an initiative focused on equipping students with the soft skills required in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He highlighted the brief history of the programme, which has already helped 256 students to graduate (including 100 UKZN students), despite being launched this year.
Vahed said the initiative involved a 16-hour intensive programme for tertiary students, comprising of core coursework and teambuilding activities and covering topics such as problem-solving, critical thinking, personal branding, effective communication, application of academic and technical skills, effective CV writing, and job interview skills.
In closing, Vahed said he hoped the Workplace Readiness Programme became a compulsory module for all UKZN students. ‘When you go out into the working world and put in your CV, we want you to be accepted the first time. We want you to be called for an interview, be hired, and make us proud!’
Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela
Photographs: Andile Ndlovu