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Employability Hub helping students step into the workforce

By UCOL on Monday, 04 December 2017

Three UCOL students at UCOL's Employability Hub.

Students have been making the most of UCOL’s Employability Hub as they look to secure employment before the New Year.

Launched in September across all campuses, the Employability Hub offers class sessions for students preparing to enter the workforce covering knowing of where the jobs are, CVs, interview preparation, and employment contracts. The service also provides a list of available jobs for students, which is updated weekly on the student intranet and posted on campus notice boards. 

Over 50 students have accessed the Employability Hub for advice, with CV critiquing being the most common request. On top of that, Employability Project Coordinator Jo Hazlitt has run over 20 seminars with class groups offering templates and resources.

Jo also works with stakeholders in industries relevant to UCOL programmes to identify employment, work experience and internship opportunities for students.  

“There are plenty of jobs out there, with our region employers valuing UCOL students. It’s about helping students find the right fit for them and giving them the confidence to go after it,” says Jo.

Jo says it has been great to see students access the service and then secure employment before they even finish their studies. 

“It’s really satisfying to see students finishing their studies and moving on with their careers. We’ve had some really great success stories,” says Jo. 

Beauty student Geneva Knox has secured a job as a Junior Beauty therapist at Pania Ryan Beauty Retreat, starting this month. Her lecturer recommended that she apply for the job, so she contacted the Employability Hub for help updating her CV.  

“Jo helped me revamp my CV which gave me a big boost in confidence when I went to the job interview,” says Geneva.

“My advice to other students looking for work is to get your CV looked at properly, and think about how you’re going to present yourself at job interviews.”

Todd Burnard, who is finishing up the New Zealand Diploma in Construction, has gained employment as a Junior Estimator at Turfrey in Hastings. He took his CV in, was interviewed then and there, and was offered a job a week later.  

“I talked to Jo from the Employability Hub, who helped with my CV, but also gave me tips on how to be confident and bold. It gave me peace of mind knowing that I had done everything I could to get the job.” 

Exercise and Sport Science student Alex Wilson first accessed the Employability Hub to get help writing his CV for a scholarship application. His application was successful, and he received a UCOL Scholarship for Effort and Achievement valued at $1,000.

He also included this CV in his successful application for postgraduate study at the University of Otago. 

Alex stresses the importance of students having quality CVs and preparing well for job interviews. 

“You need to have a really polished CV with no spelling mistakes. If it’s not up the scratch, it will be tossed straight out the door because you’ve got so many people sending in CVs to any one employer.” 

“Job interviews aren’t too bad if you’ve prepared well. Get to know the business, think of the questions you’re likely to be asked, and prepare two or three answers for each,” he says. 

Jo urges students who are finishing their studies this year to start applying for jobs now, as many businesses close down over the Christmas period.



Pictured above: Alex Wilson, Geneva Knox, and Todd Burnard have made the most of UCOL’s Employability Hub.
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