Category: Enterprising School Leavers | Opportunity mediation services | 26 June, 2014 - 17:50← BACK
In 2012 New Beginnings launched it Office Administration course as an addition to its existing curriculum. The course module follows the SETA requirements of combining 30% classroom training with 70% on the job training in the relevant industry. Finding host companies and organisations that will provide on the job training to our students has proved to be very difficult. In this learning brief we discuss how we have managed to find solutions to this challenge.
Challenges finding job-training placements
The in-service, on-the-job training is a vital component of our Office Administration course, but it is not easy finding job placements for our students. We started by contacting most of the larger companies in our surrounding areas. Many of them are well established but would not take our trainees. They gave many reasons, such as:
Advocating for on-the-job training
We recognise that these are legitimate concerns for companies, and we spend much time advocating in support of free, on-the-job training in order to help companies think through these concerns. Such advocacy is time consuming but vital because we believe that providing opportunities for job-skills training is a core aspect of corporate social responsibility.
Lessons to share: success strategies
Despite the challenges listed above we managed to place 12 of our Admin Course students. A HUGE thanks to those companies and organisations that supported our students! We remain encouraged to know that there are organisations out there that will take on trainees.
Our advice for others facing the same predicament is that as a course manager it is your job to advocate for the job-placement programme. So “tell everyone you know” that your students need placement opportunities, and tell them why this is beneficial to all parties.
1. Personalize: Use something relevant to the reader to grab attention.
2. Be interesting: Make your subject line oddly long or short or different. Make it interesting so people open the message in the first place.
3. Be fresh: Don’t say “update” or “news” each time.
4. Be brief: Put key information right up front since subject lines get cut off.
5. Instil urgency: Make it clear why your email matters now—”three days left to give”.
6. Banish ‘spaminess’: avoid all caps and shun exclamation points.
7. Create wonderful content and reflect it in the subject line.
Below is a snippet from one of our successful trainees that found a job-trainee placement at Eskom.
Student case study
One of our students who benefitted from this the combined classroom and on-the-job training experience was Una Martin. She agreed to describe her experiences with this process.
“My practical, on the job experiences were wonderful!! As a Frailcare student I completed practicals at two different institutions, i.e. Huis De La Bat Old Age Home and also at the Eersteriver Hospital. Apart from my class training, I had no actual experience in the field so I was a bit nervous. The hands on experience and real life situations have instilled in me the belief that I can overcome any obstacle faced I am with. I enjoyed relating to real patients and being in these situations made me feel that I could be relied upon. There is no doubt that my classroom training prepared me for what was to come but I would not have gained the knowledge and experience I did if I was not exposed to the environment. For my Admin course I was placed at Eskom and once again this was initially a very daunting experience. I had never worked in an office or even been exposed to the corporate working environment. At Eskom I was exposed to different admin functions, including the switchboard. After being trained for just one day, the operator was absent the next day and I was told to answer the board……I can’t even describe how I felt. Needless to say I was very excited to “go to work” everyday. I am now volunteering at New Beginnings as an administrator and I am thoroughly enjoying the continued exposure to the Admin field.”
In this Learning Brief we outlined the challenges faced in finding job-training placements for their students. Then we listed seven strategic solutions for getting employers to host job trainees enrolled in our office administration course. This means the training staff must actively advocate for the importance of job placement to as many people as possible, and must ensure that the students are adequately prepared for the work environment. Hopefully other training organisations will find these suggestions useful in helping to place their students in the workplace.
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This learning brief profiles seven strategies for getting employers to host job trainees enrolled in the New Beginnings office administration course. Other training organisations will find these suggestions useful in helping to place their own students in the workplace.