In the world we live in today, you need more than just good grades and academic papers in order to place yourself in the right career or entrepreneurship path and actually work it to the satisfaction of both yourself and/or your employer. Why is this so? Because common wisdom, people skills and street smarts will all come in handy for one to stay afloat in this highly competitive market. Because with a 40% increase in the number of private and public universities between 2002 and 2015, the job market is awash with degrees and one would need to have much more than those to stand out and stay standing out. Bearing in mind that only half of the 50,000 graduates who leave Kenyan universities every year get absorbed into the corporate world, something’s gotta give.

Well, Barclays Kenya is listening and has seen the glaring need for some sort of finishing school to equip graduates with knowledge that they may not have come across in their books  and lecture halls. The bank yesterday launched ‘Ready To work’ – an online curriculum that seeks to equip college and university graduates with people skills, work skills, entrepreneurship skills and thankfully, money skills. Otherwise what’s with acquiring all these other skills, working hard, and making money which you cannot manage?

There are increasing sentiments that many of these graduates are half baked but we’ll leave that discussion for another day. If this be true though, the more reason a program like Ready To Work will come in handy.

How does the Ready To Work program work? First one would have to register as a ready to work user on the website, a simple process that will take all of two minutes or less. Then one can go ahead and access all the available resources. The best thing about this program is that it is totally FREE. Zero costs, zero expenses, zero charges for the users. Academic institutions will provide access to students through the curriculum link, and community based organizations will provide face-to-face training. Ready to Work is a basic level programme for which the user will be awarded Certificate of Completion upon passing the assessment at the end of each module. This unique certificate can be printed for inclusion in your skills portfolio.

What is the value of this kind of training to a budding career man/woman or entrepreneur? I’d say absolutely priceless! The corporate world can look quite menacing to a new entrant – and even to seasoned and semi seasoned players since there is never an end to challenges. Having a nudge in the right direction from the right quarters is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to a young and growing career.

Ready To Work  is a great initiative from Barclays Bank, and a great opportunity for students and graduates to gain access to the skills and opportunities they need to find meaningful employment or start successful business ventures. Do visit the website for more information. It’s a free platform and for those willing to listen and take full advantage of it, the benefits will be immense.

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