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Graduate Empowerment Programme gives IIE graduates a fighting chance

According to the latest unemployment numbers by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) 26.7% of South African's are unemployed. This means that 5.7 million people out of 36.4 million of South Africa's working age population is without work. Meanwhile youth unemployment in South Africa is among the third highest in the world.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Africa's working age population is expected to double to one billion in the next 25 years. With this is mind, a large number of Africans will be looking for work - but the crucial question is - where will they find work?

Rosebank College, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) recognised the challenges experienced by new graduates when looking for first-time employment and initiated the Graduate Empowerment Programme (GEP) in 2012 to give The IIE Rosebank College graduates a fighting chance in the competitive world of job searching.

Career coaching sessions

"Our Regional Career Centre Coordinators are responsible for providing assistance to graduates looking for employment. This involves coaching graduates to best sell themselves to prospective employers, from writing a winning cover letter, compiling a CV, dressing the part and positioning oneself well in an interview," says Lillian Bususu, National Graduate Development Manager at Rosebank College National Office.

Success Story

Carol Tshabalala graduated top of her class with a three-year IIE National Diploma in Public Relations from the Sunnyside Campus in Pretoria. She received employment soon after in a call centre but left because she wasn't fulfilled in her position. "I was very unhappy and didn't realise that things were about to change for the better when I was contacted by The IIE Rosebank College Sunnyside Campus Career Centre Administrator." After leaving her employment, Tshabalala was called in for several interviews but never landed any of the jobs.

"I didn't know what I was doing wrong until I was asked to stand in front of my peers during a GEP workshop and pretend that I was being interviewed." Tshabalala received constructive criticism on what she needed to change and positive reinforcement on what she was doing well. "They also look at what you are wearing and your general appearance. They basically polish you up. "You already have your theory, so this helps you put your best foot forward at your next interview."

Not only was Tshabalala assisted with how to perfect a job interview, she was also advised on the importance of using the correct grammar. "A lot of what people get wrong during interviews is related to their grammar. How you speak is very important. When I stood in front of the group, I spoke very fast because I was nervous. This was pointed out to me and I had to learn how to slow down and this has boosted my confidence."

To date over 5 000 IIE graduates have been placed in employment through the help of the GEP.

"Graduates need to be proactive and need to understand that they are competing on a global stage and not just with their classmates. We have also come to realise that students don't know how to physically search for and apply for employment," adds Bususu.

Rosebank College has partnered with over 600 corporates and is always looking for more companies to collaborate with. "We supply these corporates with The IIE graduate CVs and make sure that we fill their posts with our best IIE Rosebank Graduates who match the requirements and culture of the company."

The IIE's Rosebank College is dedicated to providing students with a solid foundation, creating future thinkers to build successful careers. The IIE's quality, accredited courses have a strong technological focus enabling you to thrive in today's working world.

Study at its Braamfontein, Pretoria CBD, Pretoria Sunnyside Durban or Polokwane campuses and enroll for an IIE degree, diploma or higher certificate. It is a worthy higher education partner for all students who entrust us with their career development. For more information please visit www.rosebankcollege.co.za and www.iie.ac.za.

Follow it on Twitter @RosebankRC.

Rosebank College

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997 (reg. no. 2007/HE07/002). Company registration number: 1987/004754/07.