Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distribution (CBOD) Senyo Hosi has charged students to equip themselves for the world of work.
He gave the admonition during a roundtable discussion about preparing graduates for work and the role of universities, organized by the University of Cape Coast.
“We all get trained while working but being prepared precedes work”, Mr. Hosi explained in an analogy about the bible’s parable of the virgins in Matthew 25. He likened the kingdom of heaven to the world of work.
“As the kingdom of heaven is in the above parable, so is the kingdom of work. The competitive nature of today’s world has no time for the unprepared. Organisations realise this and will opt to minimise their training costs and time without compromising quality where possible. One will therefore be likened to the foolish virgins if one thinks that preparation is the burden of industry. As was the case in the parable, the door to work will be shut to the unprepared!”
In a quick survey of senior business executives conducted by Senyo Hosi ahead of the roundtable discussion, it was found that 70% of employers considered graduates to be poorly or very poorly prepared for work.
Graduate unpreparedness is a global problem, a survey of over 400 employers in the UK few years back revealed complaints that none or few of their new recruits were work ready by the time they left the university. It added that the graduates often lacked key skills such as teamwork, determination, communication and punctuality.
It is certain that “industry understands that graduates will have to be trained for their specific work roles but requires preparedness on the part of graduates in respect of values, attitudes and the basic skills that make graduates conveniently trainable and viable throughout their time in the firm and across various tasks and roles”, Mr Hosi said.
He called for a forward-thinking collaboration between employers and universities especially because of the dawn of technological advancement which is expected to reduce dependence on human labour.
“Who is doing the thinking and strategic positioning to effectively compete in student impact and superiority in industry? Who is constantly engaging with employers to ascertain what skills the students need to be useful and productive to industry today and tomorrow?”