New course trailblazing Career Development
Career Trek and the University of Winnipeg have teamed up to provide students with a “first of its kind” course on Career Development called Career: Life/Work Planning.
Whether you are a young student looking to enter the workforce for the first time or a teacher looking for ways to help young people succeed, this course helps people rise to the multiple challenges of the 21 Century workforce.
“Young people today face challenges earlier generations didn’t even have to think of,” says Connie Korchak, Career: Life/Work Planning Instructor. “My hope is that this course provides students with the tools they need to tackle their future’s head on.”
According to Korchak, finding a job today can feel like navigating an obstacle course. Unusually high youth unemployment, constant change, competition for jobs, automation, and the need for increasingly skilled and experienced employees are daily challenges for students trying to attach to the workforce.
One person just entering that obstacle course is Abraham Eyob. Eyob came to Canada from the Sudan five years ago. When he arrived, he had no family and no friends here. He was alone in a foreign county with alien customs and practices. At the time, he needed an education and a job.
Today Eyob is one of the first students to complete Career: Life/Work Planning and has a lot to say about the challenges students face and the benefits of the new course.
“Experience, a lot of big companies look for experience,” says 20-year-old Abraham Eyob. “Young students just graduated don’t have enough experience, it’s kind of a big challenge.”
Monica Reis, a high school English and Drama teacher who, like Eyob, is one of the first batch of students to complete the course. Unlike Eyob, Reis is taking this course after having been in the workforce for 29 years and is looking to upgrade her skills and experience with counselling.
“I think counselling is really important especially these days because traditional jobs are not necessarily the jobs anymore. They’re not,” says Reis.
“So the kids are stressed out because they think they only have two things to do, go to university or work; but they don’t really know what’s all out there,” says Reis.
“Kids just think ‘I don’t know what I can do with my life, I don’t know what kind of skills I have to be matched to whatever job there is’,” says Reis. “you learn that there are tons of jobs out there…and there’s so many different places you can go to access those jobs.”
Whether it’s a lack of experience, misaligned skills, or a lack of knowledge, students are faced with many challenges that the course attempts to address… through access.
Access is the underling purpose of Career: Life/Work Planning and the main subject of the course lessons as well.
The purpose of the course is to get students to better understand who they are and where
they fit. The way it does so is by giving the students access to a wealth of knowledge on communication skills, self-assessment tools, resume writing, interview skills, career tracks, labour market information, career portfolios and more.
“We created the content for this course in the hopes it would be valuable to students at any stage of their journey,” says Darrell Cole, CEO of Career Trek.
According to Eyob the course would be of great help to newcomers who have little or no experience with the way people go about getting jobs in Canada. It would give them a greater understanding of the process.
“It was a good thing. It made me feel good afterwards,” says Eyob. “It also gave me confidence because now I know those steps. I have the knowledge of what to expect.”
“I think it’s a valuable course to take,” says Reis. “I think it would round you off a little bit, like if you want to be the kind of a person whose got everything covered…you know that saying don’t close any doors.”
Interest in Career: Life/Work Planning is growing and other post-secondary institutions are looking to into adding the course to their list of offerings.