The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has commenced a maiden student employability skills training through an Annual Students Employability Camp (ASEC) programme geared towards curbing the unemployment rate in the country.
The three-day programme is organized by the University’s Centre for Students’ Skills Enhancement on the theme “Creating an Ecosystem of Employable Youth for Ghana’s Sustainable Development” was sponsored by Total Ghana, Cowbell Ghana and Fidelity Bank.
It was designed to equip final year students with employable skills for the job market.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday in Sunyani, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, and the Vice-Chancellor said the institution was helping to curb the nation’s unemployment rate by the creation of the ASEC programme to develop its student employability skills.
He said the University was interested in the welfare of its graduates even after school, saying the programme was thus instituted to respond to the frightening question of what is next after school.
The VC said the University was looking forward to seeing all her graduates absorbed into the job market in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
Besides, the training was equipping them as individuals and groups to enter into entrepreneurship to employ others after school, he added.
Prof. Asare-Bediako said that could only be achieved if students were equipped with the vital skills to enhance their chances of being employed or creating their own jobs.
He explained that the programme would sharpen students’ skills through practical sessions on online communication, digital skills, critical thinking, problem solving, social and presentation skills to make UENR graduates outstanding among others from other universities.
He told the students that though their certificates and sometimes the quality of it, either First Class, Second Class Upper or whatever could get them shortlisted for an interview, the ability to communicate and demonstrate social stability, emotional balance, critical thinking, digital and presentation skills would determine their employability.
He therefore urged them to put their acquired knowledge into use, become ambassadors for the University through their hard work and contribute their quota for the development of Ghana and humanity.
Mr. David Sekyi Yirenkyi, a Junior Assistant Registrar at the University said a research was conducted on industry and academia and findings revealed most graduates with better passes lacked job skills, hence the VC actualized his vision to set up the Centre for the ASEC.
He said the Centre had come to stay and hoped the current participants and others in the years ahead of the ASEC would be able to make it useful to enhance their socio-economic well-being.
Mr. Yirenkyi expressed optimism it would also help the University to build a strong alumni relations with its graduates.
Later in an interview, a participant, Ms. Lois Ataa Sarpong Kyeretwie, a Level 400 Bachelor of Science (BSc) Biological Sciences student said “this is one of the most important trainings organized by the University for students”.
She explained they were normally taught things pertaining to their field of studies, but hoped the ASEC would prepare them more to become employable in the job market and urged other continuing students to embrace the programme with maximum interest given the opportunity.