Fast little loans
Hit the ground running, that’s what employers need new employees to do. And that is exactly what graduates are able to do once they complete the Lerumo work readiness programme.
A joint effort by the Finance, Accounting, Management Consulting and other Financial Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Fasset) and Boston City Campus & Business College, the Lerumo work readiness programme, was launched earlier this year to help BCom students become employable. The first group of 32 students graduated from the programme last week Friday.
“Having academic knowledge is often not enough to secure a job,” says Yaron Gutkin of Boston City Campus and Business College. “Many graduates need assistance in getting the workplace skills that employers want them to have so they can be productive from their first day at work – the so-called ability of hitting the ground running.”
Boston conducted comprehensive research into the requirements of various financial firms prior to developing the Lerumo programme.
“We asked firms to identify what exactly it is that they find lacking in the graduates that walk through their door as first time employees or interns,” he says. “With this information, we were able to design Lerumo, a work readiness programme that exclusively prepares graduates for work in the financial sector.”
Run over a four-month period, Lerumo consists of the four main components identified by employers as must-haves:
l Computer skills – training in keyboarding and commonly used software such as Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
l Soft skills – training in business ethics, business English, teamwork, dealing with conflict, working in a culturally diverse environment.
l Accounting incubator – where students draw up books of an imaginary company and learn via realistic simulation.
l Auditing skills – students do comprehensive case studies.
“It is an intensive… programme, but our first intake of students worked hard and coped quite well,” says Gutkin.
An unexpected bonus was being able to include enterprise resource planning (ERP) in the training.
“It is a highly valued skill and we are proud to have reached an agreement with SAP and its partners to give 20 Lerumo students the opportunity to get top-quality training in ERP,” he explains. “These select students stayed on for an extra month to do the ERP component. We at Boston gladly carried the cost of this additional training as we see it as an investment in our youth and in the country’s future.”
While some of the Lerumo graduates are looking for employment, some of them have already found jobs and, like Linda “Emmi” Nyathi, are over the moon at the prospect of being employed.
“I was interviewed at Ramathe Charted Accountants and received a SAICA (SA Institute of Chartered Accountants) training contract from them,” an elated Nyathi wrote in an e-mail to the Lerumo co-ordinator. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity; I have learnt so much through Lerumo, it gave me the tools I need to soar in the world of accounting, tax and auditing. Thank you for everything and may God bless you and the successful continuation of this amazing project.”
Employers interested in offering jobs or internships to the Lerumo graduates can contact the Boston placement specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org As Fasset funded the Lerumo work readiness training, there are no placement fees or any other fees applicable.