Soft skills must to boost employability

SALALAH, August 13  – Human resource specialists exhorted students hitting the job market to acquire soft skills and prepare nicely for job related interactions. They called for proper orientation, understanding own strength, nice presentation of CVs and get ready for interviews through mock practices etc.
They were speaking during ‘Employability Enhancement Training Programme’ at Salalah College of Technology. The trainers were drawn from major private and public sector enterprises like Salalah Methanol, Dhofar Power Company (DPC), Vision Centre for Educational Consultancy, Salalah Sanitary and Drainage Company, and senior administrative and faculty members of the SCT.
Ahmed Muqaibal, Head of HR and Administration, Salalah Methanol Company, said the biggest challenge of today’s employability is the requirement of new skills. “We prefer candidates who have exposure, undergone some training or taken part in some big or small projects related to candidates’ job search area.”
“Competencies have changed now. Earlier fresh graduates were getting jobs without any experience. But today every employer is looking for some kind of expertise among the candidates. Undergraduate training, exposure, short term of assignment or involvement with some major projects have emerged as important employability factors. Here lies the role of the colleges. This becomes part of their responsibility apart from regular teaching to facilitate some training, interaction with the companies etc.”
“I find good level in Salalah College of Technology with so many branches of science. Still I put stress on providing exposure to the college students. That makes their employability easy because they are able to manage initial inhibitions etc,” he said.
Susan al Shahri, HR specialist at Dhofar Power Company, called for acquiring soft skills in computer and communication to have an edge over others. “The students should understand that job market requirements are becoming competitive. They should learn to compete rather than being content with acquiring college degrees. They should strive for soft skills which are important for employability these days,” she said.
Commenting on the challenges of the present day HR professionals, Susan said, “The expectations of the students or the job-seekers are very high. Without having proper skills, they aspire for higher positions. My advice to them is to invest some quality time in learning new skills. As a responsible corporate house, we are open to offer training and be partner with the educational institutions to address the issues related to employability.”
Dr Amal al Shahri, SCT Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, gave a presentation on ‘How to get ready for job interviews’ in two sessions and exhorted the students to take maximum benefit of the college facilities.
“We do regular career counselling to the students. Tell them to open up and choose the career path of their choice. We engage with the industries to give maximum exposure to our students, as we understand that the requirements of the job market are changing every passing day. We keep on upgrading our facilities and resources accordingly,” she said.
Dr Salim Muqaubal, HRD Trainer at Vision Centre for Educational Consultancy, presented a working paper on ‘Knowing yourself’, while Hatem Suwailam, Senior Lecturer Business Studies Department, gave a presentation on ‘Job search techniques and CV writing.’

Kaushalendra Singh