ABU DHABI // Staff from 27 universities and 10 schools in the emirate have been trained as career advisers to help guide students in the ever-changing economic landscape.
The Abu Dhabi Education Council has just finished two-month programme to teach counsellors to align youngsters’ skills and interests with an appropriate career or education path.
Dr Mohammed Baniyas, Adec’s higher education executive director, said: “We feel this is society’s responsibility, it is an educator’s responsibility, to not only educate them in terms of their knowledge, in terms of their skills, but also to guide them to what future job has a better opportunity for them.”
The advisers were nominated from six public and four private high schools and 27 universities across the emirate to take part in the programme, which involved two weeks of theory work and four weeks of practical training in career counselling in schools.
The trainees learnt about career counselling technology, the differences between vocation and profession, the skills that are currently in demand, how to conduct mock interviews and CV writing lessons.
The course was run by J Clayton Kennedy, a professional development instructor with Kuder, a US company that offers career assessment training.
“If you understand your interests and understand what you find value in and if we can help line that up with a job that you’d like,” said Mr Kennedy.
The result would be “you are going to be happier in your job and if you’re happier in your job, then you stay in your job longer”.
The new counsellors will also train others, said Dr Baniyas.
Adec said it was conducting 50 orientation sessions to introduce its career planning system to 5,000 university students and high-school pupils from public and private schools.
It was also briefing 600 college and university faculty and staff to assist young people in choosing a field of students that matches both their interests and the needs of the marketplace.
“We encourage schools to have career counsellors, we encourage universities to have career counsellors because it’s becoming very important,” said Dr Baniyas. “It’s recommended for schools to take this issue seriously because they have to prepare them first for the university and after the university, they have to prepare them for the labour market.”