Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET)

NMU Webinar series WIL placement – a problem identified by EC TVET

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    As promised in the previous discussion, I want to separate the discussion on Work-Integrated Learning (WIL).

    Clearly, we will all understand that employers have been going through a hard time, and having young people on WIL programmes is probably not top of the list of priorities.

    However, it is essential that as young people are trained, they are given the opportunity to gain work experience.

    Many say that we are now moving into a new normal – so the question is – what can you as an employer do – by taking on young people for their work experience component of their qualification.

    In addition to the presentation, we were privileged to hear from a young woman student, who explained the problems experienced.

    A big problem relates to matching of the nature of the qualification and the nature of the experience. Clearly to benefit, these should match.

    I recalled an experience – the young woman Rone’ Horne was explaining the difficulties – the sound broke up a bit & I thought she said – not knowing how to use the copy machine (she actually said coffee machine).

    That reminded me of an incident I had as a much younger person. I will explain it because it’s entirely relevant to the situation young people face.

    I had just started in a new company – a multinational – one that’s been in the news. In those days there were secretaries, and the secretary of the most senior manager/exec in the building was designated to show me how to use the copy machine.

    I had never seen such a large machine (I had been at home & studying & not working), and she clearly set out to intimidate me. She took a large part of a ream of printer paper & started shuffling the paper – like you would a deck of cards – shuffling it & tapping it down on the desk & re-shuffling it. I was totally unnerved.

    I have never forgotten the incident, because I believe that it is an example of how young people, who have not worked, can be made to feel inadequate – rather than setting them up to succeed.

    Anyway Rone’ explained that they didn’t have the MS Office suite – Excel, Powerpoint, – the sort of packages that are standard in many offices.

    The curriculum is not necessarily up to date – or suited to what is needed – what the young people will need to come in, feel confident that they know what is expected, and have the core skills – and just need to practice them in the work environment.

    So – Work-integrated Learning – the opportunity to align theory with practice.

    Please consider how your company can contribute by making contact with TVET colleges & taking on young students.

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