A recession springs forth a tide of uncertainties that are as far-reaching as they can be devastating – particularly for those seeking employment. In such a climate, schemes like Deloitte’s Employability Skills initiative, which yesterday called for more employers to sign up, are a certain step in the right direction.
The project aims to provide learning that is based around practical exercises replicating real workplace situations. It is accredited by nationally recognised qualifications, and teaches students about the culture of the workplace, team-working, communication, as well as helping them improve their self-confidence. Such skills are a crucial addition to qualifications obtained by learners, and can make all the difference when they begin looking for a job.
Cornwall College is one of nine UK-wide Deloitte Employability Centres that are recognised for their excellence in teaching training and delivery of employability skills.
Dave Linnell OBE, principal of Cornwall College, commented: “For a long time there have been concerns from business about the employability of young people coming out of colleges and universities. Deloitte decided to try and do something about it.
“They identified that colleges were best placed to partner with, and they have spent a lot of time, and money establishing this employability skills programme.
“The Deloitte approach is about developing ‘essential’ skills, students’ subject course will give them the technical skills to function in their chosen fields, but students need more to succeed in the workplace, this programme highlights the importance of time-keeping and thinking about the their appearance, but it’s also about organisation and self-motivation.”
Skye Roberts, student of Business at the college’s Saltash campus, said: “The Deloitte course fitted in really well with my studies, we covered things like team-building, attitude, how to act in different circumstances and about how you present yourself, and I got know myself better, I know what my qualities are and know the ones that I need to work on. The course has taught me how to sell myself. That’s not being cocky about myself, it’s being employable.”
Sarah Webber, a Hospitality Supervision student at St Austell campus, said: “I have learned so much about myself, I have leadership qualities, the group always looked to me to lead. The course has made me ambitious, I’m more confident and the Deloitte qualification means when competing for a job, I’ve got that little bit extra.”
Mr Linnell added: “We have 115 students going through the programme; it’s made a remarkable difference. Most have moved forward to become articulate, confident, dynamic and employable young people, not just ‘college kids’.
“The scheme equips students with transferable skills, enabling them to change jobs more easily if they want to change career. This puts more power in the hands of employees, vital in the current economic climate.”
Pictured: Cornwall College’s Skye Roberts (left) and Sarah Webber (right)