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The World of Work, created by The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), has been designed specifically to help South Africa’s graduates bridge the gap between studies and work, and to assist them to perform optimally when entering the workplace for the first time.

Accessible via www.theworldofwork.co.za, the site helps prospective students, current students, graduates and young workers navigate the various aspects of preparing for, searching for, and impressing in their first jobs.

Although it is a product of The IIE, SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education provider, the resource is available free to all the country’s young people, regardless of their academic affiliation.

“It is not unusual for employers to decry the ill-preparedness of young people for the working world,” says Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of The IIE.

“The World of Work seeks to address the issues facing both job seekers and employers, by ensuring young people are prepared for the application and interview process, but also prepared to deliver their best and display proper work ethic from the word go.”

The World of Work focuses on five main areas: Preparation, Presentation, Pay, Impress and Promotion.

Preparation looks at issues of deciding what to study, and doing the right things while studying to bolster your post-study chances; Presentation considers aspects such as CVs, and the job application and interview process; Pay mulls issues such as expectations versus opportunity, and budgeting; Impress looks at how to put your best foot forward in your first job; and Promotion assists in getting ready to take your career to the next level.

“The IIE places huge emphasis on the work-preparedness of our graduates, via our work-integrated learning approach, as there is often a gap between graduate skills and attributes and employer expectations.

Because we know that young people need all the help they can get, we decided to broaden our offering to include online advice, assistance and thought leadership from recruiters, academics and young people who have successfully made the transition.

The job market in SA is highly competitive, and it is not unusual for young people to search for a long time before landing their first job.

“In addition to receiving advice from recruiters and employers about what they look for when making appointments, The World of Work also shares advice and success stories from students and job hunters’ peers, about how they made things work,” says Coughlan.

She adds that submissions from all were welcomed, and could be submitted via the ‘Share your experience’ button on the website. “Additionally, if you have any burning issues you want us to address, we would love to hear from you,” she says.

Coughlan says a decision was made to open access to all young people, regardless of their academic affiliation. “It is incumbent on both the public and the private sector to work together to improve the economic landscape of the country as a whole, and to improve the preparedness of graduates for the workplace. We believe the common sense advice and insights of The World of Work could go some way to help all SA’s graduates focus on the next steps.”

The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa. It has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands – Rosebank College, Varsity College, Design School Southern Africa and Vega – are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry leaders in their chosen fields.

The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from postgraduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.

Zeenat Moosa

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