Early jobs helping learners shape careers

Monday September 3 2018

Under Work Experience Company, secondary school

Under Work Experience Company, secondary school students are deployed in workplaces of their choice to help them make informed decisions about careers of their choice. File photo 


There is a tendency for schools to offer career guidance programmes when students are on the verge of exiting the learning institution.
These programmes are designed to assist students in making the right career choices.
For example, if a student is interested in becoming a banker, career guidance aims at guiding them on what course to offer at the university and probably which workplaces would be suitable for them to work in. The problem, however, is that many schools and even parents offer this guidance when the child is past their teenage years or even during their early adulthood years at the university. This, however, should not be the case.
“Career guidance should not start at a later stage in learning,” says Jonathan Maserejje, one of the directors at Work Experience Company (WEX). Maserejje says early career guidance motivates children to perform better in their areas of interest.
WEX offers career guidance to youngsters from the ages of 16 to 20 years old. The company has different packages for students, including linking them to potential employers and job offers.

Students’ view point
Petero Taremwa, 17, a student at Kampala International School of Uganda, a beneficiary of WEX career guidance, says the company has helped set up meetings for him with lawyers. “I have been able to interact with lawyers who have shared their professional experiences with me,” Taremwa says.
Similarly, the company also gives him assignments related to law which has widened his knowledge on legal matters. “The organisation has helped me see what the world is like in law,” he says. The company charges the students $50 (about Shs180,000) for this particular package.
Similarly, Joel Thomas Biju, a student from the same school, says the company has offered him training sessions on engineering and computer science. These are his two areas of career interest.
“They have taught me the dynamics of the engineering world I am glad to have learnt at this stage,” Biju says.

The challenge, however, for some of such companies offering career guidance to students is that workplaces are not always willing to come on board.
Patricia Kukundakwe, a human resource director at PROS RECRUIT, says it is always important to provide students with an opportunity to learn about a profession so that they make informed decisions.