12 January 2017

Corporate-university partnerships: getting students work ready

We are living in a dynamic knowledge-based economy with increasing dependence on human resources.

The students of this millennia are fortunate to have access to a variety of quality education across borders. That being said, you only have to look at the unemployment rate and mismatch of skills to realize how big the gap actually is.

On the other hand, for a long time students have complained that what they learnt as theory during university, is not the same in the real life job scenario / work environment.

This makes it increasingly important for companies and universities to forge strong partnerships and work in tandem to push the frontiers of knowledge, thereby becoming a powerful engine for innovation and economic growth.

Corporate-university partnerships benefit the future workforce of Australia by ensuring university graduates are work-ready. Internships provide students opportunities to work on real life corporate projects often in a team environment; connecting the theory with real life. Workplace learning through industry partnerships opens up ways for universities to better understand the needs of employers. It also allows students to apply their course learnings in the workplace and employers to have an ‘early look’ at potential employees.

At Hilti, we have been fortunate to have such a fruitful partnership with CEMS which began in early 2012. Since then we have successfully recruited students who have developed their careers within Hilti Australia and have enjoyed career progression across functions like sales, marketing and supply chain management.

Hilti, being a global organisation, makes a perfect partnership for the CEMS’ students with access to global learnings, processes, infrastructure and more importantly career opportunities. Many Hilti offices across the globe take on students for internships, graduate programs and industry placements. By partnering directly with CEMS we at Hilti have found they understand our future employee requirements and can ensure their course curriculum meets our needs to provide well rounded employees.

The graduates of today need to adapt quickly to working in a fluid environment within a matrix structure. They need to develop leadership skills through demonstrating keen learning agility, self-awareness, openness to experience, motivation to learn, feedback seeking, and use of deliberate learning strategies.

Successful corporate- university partnerships will ensure that the skill gap is addressed while making the future work force ready.

By Annette Fernandes, Talent Acquisition & HR Project Specialist at Hilti Australia Pty Ltd

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