South West College - Promoting Employability
South West College has adopted an innovative approach to developing employability skills in young learners following on from the Training for Success programmes.
The College’s Dungannon campus was the venue for the ‘Employability is Everybody’s Business’ seminar on Tuesday 13th December. College staff were joined by local employers including DMAC Engineering, Donnelly Brothers, Kerry Foods, Todd’s Leap and Kooki-co Café, who shared their entrepreneurial experiences with the young people.
The Keynote address was provided by Justin Fitzpatrick, Director of Rugby at Dungannon Rugby Club. Justin took the opportunity to highlight confidence as a key employability skill advising students that ‘confidence is vital and you should be clear about your talents and why you are the best person for the job.’
The invited employers participated in a number of panel discussions where they answered questions from the student body. In addition, the employers hosted various workshops with small groups of students emphasising the particular skill and aptitudes they were looking for in prospective employees.
The employer-led workshops were supplemented by additional workshops hosted by South West College staff from the Department of Training and the Innotech Centre, who shared advice on interview skills and provided an insight into self-employment. All students were given the opportunity to further enhance their transferable employability skills through participation in a range of interactive activities including giant ‘Jenga’, team-building activities and several creative tasks.
Feedback from all concerned was very positive, with Johnny Devlin from DMAC Engineering welcoming the opportunity to return to the College where he gained his primary qualifications, adding that the students were ‘keen to learn what it takes to progress in the world of work and enthusiastic about meeting local employers’.
South West College student, Dwayne O’Neill added:
“I really enjoyed the question and answer session with the employers as it provided me with extensive information on business ethics and it was especially helpful as I wish to start-up my own company.”
The seminar was brought to a close by Mrs Maria Hackett, Head of Training at South West College, who thanked all the employers for giving up their time to assist students to develop their employability skills. Mrs Hackett concluded:
“This seminar is the first in a number of initiatives the Training Department have planned as part of our strategy to enhance employability skills and to get young people ready for employment with local employers.”