The Value of Championing Student Employability

What sets Honoris institutions apart from other universities is our strong emphasis on employability to ensure that all our 71,000 students including the 23,000 we graduated this year, are well prepared for the labour market and the future of work.

From Casablanca to Cape Town, and Tunis to Abuja, our Honoris heads of employability share their passion for championing student employability across the continent.

Sonia Ben Elkahla, Chief Employability Officer, Université Centrale Group in Tunisia

“This year we launched a series of Linked In training sessions for all our final year students in all specialities. We want them to understand how to build a network of professionals and engage with them effectively, how to use keywords and tips for more visibility by recruiter and how to show their skills, achievements and interests in order to find relevant opportunities. Also with the insights provided by Linked In, our students and alumni can gain a better understanding of the local and international market needs.”

Why is it important that we champion the importance of employability for our students?

“Many students enter university with few knowledge of the job market needs, and the work environment, the skills required by recruiters, their expectations. At the end of their academic curriculum it may be too late to understand it. It’s our role to prepare and guide them. At the same time we offer a service to our partners by understanding their needs and fulfilling them.”

Amber Theunissen, HR Officer, FEDISA in South Africa

“The service offering by Honoris to FEDISA, the FEDISA Careers Connect online platform through Gravyty, a leading engagement and technology provider to international tertiary institutions focusing on alumni relations and career services is an important resource in the quest to increase student employability. The platform’s main aim is to expand and formalise FEDISA’s career services and to ensure that all students have access to career resources whenever and wherever they need it. Employers interested in mining FEDISA student and graduate talent, are able to post fashion industry career vacancies, internships, and opportunities for industry collaborations. Career information related to the fashion industry, webinars by fashion industry experts and career development virtual events are available on the platform to supplement our students and alumni with insight into current and relative fashion media and the minds of experienced professionals.

The support received from Dr Grace Nkansa, Senior Director of Employability and Partnership Honoris, who holds a PhD in Comparative, and International Development and Education, has been tremendous and precisely tailored to the environment FEDISA operates within. Her expertise has been used to consult with every institution in launching their version of the FEDISA Careers Connect platform and to facilitate the process of applying and actioning the 2023 Pillars, particularly the improvement of the student employment rate and Return on Investment, and the strengthening and expanding of the employer partner ecosystem. The lessons she has enabled the entire Honoris Employability team members to learn, have resulted in each member, within their institution, to plan, prioritise and develop the best way in which to drive towards the end goal of increasing student employability through a structured and strategic approach within our respective African countries and industries.”

Why is it important that we champion the importance of employability for our students?

“It can be said that overall, students decide to come and study at FEDISA because of their passion for the world of fashion. FEDISA students are guided to develop their talents in various assessments aligned with high industry standards and every student is given numerous opportunity to work with leading South African and international industry partners during their studies. The huge amount of effort, nurturing, constructive feedback and time dedicated to ensure our students are able to magnificently display these talents, results in them obtaining a well-earned internationally recognised qualification and an eager want to be a responsive, productive and equipped professional. However, a qualification in itself is not the only job requirement that determines whether any graduates will become employed in industry or sufficiently prepared to start their own business.

Employability is a continuous process of building technical and behavioural skills through real-life market participation. At FEDISA we set the high standard that every single student graduates with the necessary skills, knowledge, and competencies required to succeed in both the local and international fashion markets, as well as being able to adapt to changes and trends.

The technical and behavioural skills necessary to thrive are taught in the classroom through all FEDISA’s programme curriculums and work integrated learning requirements to complete their qualification, however the transition from classroom to the real-world application of those learned abilities post study can be daunting to the individual student. We therefore have to take on the challenge of meeting the student where they are at and provide them with support to convert them from student to flourishing employee or entrepreneur.”

Asmae Mani, Head Of Employability, Honoris, Morocco

“In terms of increasing the employability of our students, the services offered by career centers, such as job preparation workshops, recruitment sessions and company forums are the most important and relevant.”

Why is it important that we champion the importance of employability for our students?

“The workshops provide students with job search techniques and interpersonal skills such as teamwork, time management, emotional intelligence and adaptability that are essential for them to stand out in the professional world and more easily land their first job.

Recruitment sessions and company forums facilitate interaction between students and potential recruiters, allowing them to take advantage of internship and employment opportunities offered by partner companies.”