It’s become the passport to jump start a career in most industries and the electricity sector is no exception: work-integrated learning (WIL) is an essential step in the transition from school to work and the best way to get ahead of the curve. But it’s not only the application of hands-on skills that sets students with WIL experience apart, it’s the professional skills they pick up as part of life in the workplace. Effective communication, collaboration and organization are all necessary for career success, along with technical knowledge.
EHRC has recently published two thought papers informed by expert interviews, research and best practices that explain further the benefit of WIL and the importance of developing professional skills for both career entry and growth.
Empowering the next-generation workforce makes practical recommendations on how we can increase WIL uptake at the post-secondary level and prepare the next generation of electricity workers. Data shows that there is high interest among students for more WIL opportunities and that it presents a benefit for both the employers and students. Employers get direct access to the pool of new talent, and students are able to develop the habits and skills they need to succeed in a workplace in the future.
Skill savvy defines 10 professional skills that all electricity sector workers need, regardless of the technical requirements of their individual position. The paper elaborates where these skills are currently falling short and how both educators and employers can work together to teach these skills to students about to enter the workforce.
Both resources together aim to offer a comprehensive picture of the benefits of work-integrated learning to both students and employers and demonstrate how WIL, and a focus on professional skills, can prepare students to succeed in their careers. When employers and educators work together to provide opportunities, the next generation of electricity workers will enthusiastically take them up.