We need to match talents with jobs for better productivity

Business Daily Kenya:  Advertise a job and you will certainly get thousands of applications, most of them ineligible. From the surface of i...

Business Daily Kenya: 

Employment opportunity. Photo/Courtesy

Advertise a job and you will certainly get thousands of applications, most of them ineligible. From the surface of it, you’d say unemployment rate is very high. It is at more than 40 per cent. But when people scrum for jobs they don’t qualify, it shows a mismatch of academic qualifications and individual aspirations.

A business management graduate, for example, may apply to be a journalist. This shows lack of career guidance in schools, which leads to students studying courses in fields they are barely interested in.

Research by the Ministry of Education in 2007 revealed that out of a sample of 314 individuals between 30 and 35 years of age and drawn from 16 professions, 66 per cent chose the wrong career, 27 per cent never thought about their careers and only seven per cent believed they chose the right one.

This is bad for the economy and professional growth. To have a qualified professional, students need to study courses based on their capabilities, interests and areas of gifting.

Yet career choice is increasingly based on peer pressure, parental influence, wrong information, entry level requirements, merit, and even placement by Kenya University and Colleges Central Placement Board.

The lack of guidance-based instruction in our education system has resulted in a large portion of students being placed into ‘wrong’ courses in institutions of higher learning, resulting in dissatisfaction and general difficulties in learning. People go for what is available rather than what is in line with their personal interests.

Many also lack the ability to re-orient their interests to the available training and employment opportunities. This leads to job frustrations and reduced productivity, which inevitably have far reaching social and economic consequences. This gets worse under an education system that emphasises examinations and high grades.

There is need to harmonise individuals’ natural abilities and interests with education and training, in line with changing needs of the job market.

We need career guidance in schools to help match acquired knowledge, skills, talents, and competences with the available opportunities in the job market. The writer is the Managing Editor of Business Today (http://bit.ly/1ZsCdpA). Email: lmulunda@businesstoday.co.ke

The post We need to match talents with jobs for better productivity appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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