The GNUPS National President in collaboration with the Ho Polytechnic SRC organized a one- day sensitization programme for final year students to equip them with knowledge on some soft skills needed to compete favourably at the job market after graduation. The programme which took place on March 11, 2016 in the G.M Afeti Auditorium of the Ho Polytechnic was under the theme: “Positioning Oneself for the Job Market and Self Awareness Programme”.
Considering the many result-oriented reforms such as implemented by the Students Loan Trust Fund and its consequent relief to loan beneficiaries in all tertiary institutions, the organizers settled on Mrs. Sheila Naah-Boamah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Fund as the key speaker for the forum. The CEO is known to be behind the implementation of these major reforms. Aside her professional duties, she is noted for her strong stance for Women Empowerment and a Humanitarian who enjoys philanthropic work.
The opportunity was used to deliver two strong presentations by the Fund, as their contribution to overall students’ development. The presentations covered “Positioning Oneself for the Job Market” and “Discover You”.
Mrs. Sheila Naah-Boamah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Students Loan Trust Fund delivered her presentation by adopting an approach that draws on simple students’ activities that were undertaken by the students themselves as part of the programme.
Her observation of their verbal and non-verbal communication skills and how such traits translate in the work place, used to demonstrate critical soft skills required by the ever competitive job market. She said that the soft skills being talked about are becoming the ‘new hard skills’ that will drive success in ones job search or job creation.
Mrs. Naah-Boamah encouraged the participants to undertake personal SWOT analysis that can help them develop self-awareness. She added that, by developing an accurate SWOT of one’s self, effort can be made to improve areas where one is weak and enhance strong areas.
Delivering on the topic she took students through some of the common workplace errors that have made job seekers lose out at interviews or fail at becoming the dream employees they set themselves to be.
She reminded them that, their first chance at improving their soft skills is during the National Service. She noted that National Service is a fertile training ground to learn and practice good work ethics. Furthermore, using her experience as an example, she added that students who accept posting to rural or small institutions tend to experience richer job responsibilities because such organizations may not have the full compliments of personnel. Therefore an HND holder, for example, could easily be allowed to practice as an accountant whereas colleagues who are posted to the large urban institutions, many of whom have their full staff compliments, are less likely to experience job responsibilities with rich learning and self development contents.
Mrs. Naah -Boamah further mentioned that students will have to decide if National Service will be an opportunity or a waste of the non-renewable resource called -time. Either way, each individual will have to pay a price for their decisions. The price will be, to either reap the benefits from learning; or pay a price for a year of opportunity much wasted.
In conclusion, she stated that social media is a great tool, but can be an addiction which deprive students of the opportunity to build effective networks amongst their peers. She wished all the participants well and hoped that they would come out school to contribute significantly to the development of Ghana.
The next presentation, on the topic “Discover You” was delivered by Ms. Rosemary Aryee, Head of Technical and Resource Mobilization Unit of the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF).
In her presentation she guided students to identify their temperaments, manage their weaknesses and explore their strengths. This is because, she noted, it will equip them with the relevant soft skills needed to manage people and realize their potentials as well as give the best of themselves. Ms. Aryee also took participants through the weaknesses and strengths of the four (4) primary temperaments which are; the sanguine: the choleric: the phlegmatic: and the melancholic.
In conclusion, the Dean of Students, Mr. Biscoff Robert, was grateful to the CEO and Head, Technical and Resource Mobilization both of the Students Loan Trust Fund, for their time and their continuous support to students. He also called on the students to take advantage of such forums; learn from them; and build healthy networks for future purposes.