With a rapidly growing population and increasing youth unemployment, developing a skilled workforce is essential for economic growth and social stability. That’s why Workforce Solutions was highlighted as one of four key themes at This year’s Honoris Academic Summit.
Fostering industry partnerships across all institutions is of utmost importance. In line with this objective, the Honoris Academic Summit held a roundtable discussion focused on employability, soft skills development, ecosystem partnerships, and micro-credentialing.
Ms. Lutfiya Adam, Director of HR and Employability at MANCOSA, emphasised the significance of creating a culture of employability through shared responsibilities among stakeholders. This concept implies that employability should not be seen as the sole responsibility of educational institutions but as a collective effort involving various parties.
Collaboration with employers is particularly crucial as they play a vital role in shaping the employability of graduates. By involving employers in the curriculum design and delivery process, institutions can enhance students’ readiness for the workforce and increase their employability prospects.
Ms. Adam stressed that fostering a culture of employability through shared responsibilities requires active collaboration with stakeholders and strategic planning by educational institutions.
Mr. Karan Khemka spoke on the significance of micro-credentials and also underscored the imperative for fostering a sense of community in education. He emphasised that soft skills hold substantial value for employers, given their applicability across diverse industries and roles. Ensuring that students are equipped with these essential skill sets as they prepare for the future becomes crucial.
This makes it evermore important to integrate soft skills into academic curricula through project-based learning approaches that encourage collaboration, teamwork, and active engagement. Additionally, it entails the provision of meaningful assessments that simulate real-world scenarios, as well as the availability of courses that bolster students’ critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Micro-credentialing has become an important way for employers to identify prospective candidates who have gained the necessary competencies within particular fields or skill sets. These credentials are awarded on successful completion of short courses or modules that concentrate on cultivating highly sought-after skills like digital literacy or coding.
Meanwhile, the application of gamification in education is gaining momentum as an effective approach to equipping students with essential skills. Games like MVP (Minimum Viable Product), created by REGENT, offer students a unique opportunity to develop innovative insights into their entrepreneurial capabilities and assume responsibility for their own knowledge acquisition.
Gamification plays a pivotal role in converting graduate attributes into sought-after work skills. By promoting self-learning through playful experiences, graduates engage in immersive learning opportunities that enable the development of a diverse range of competencies and knowledge applicable to any professional setting.
The discussions at this year’s Academic Summit have shed light on the crucial importance of Workforce Solutions in addressing Africa’s employability challenges.
Through active collaboration, embedding soft skills and leveraging gamification and micro-credentials, institutions can together contribute to the development of a skilled workforce, economic growth, and social stability in the years to come.