With Nepal’s government unveiling its Country Operations Business Plan for 2019-2021, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, it has identified higher level skills development as one of the key pillars of the plan.
Higher order thinking skills and other “21st century” attributes are vital when it comes to maximising employment prospects anywhere in the world. As part of a Job Jump Start initiative, the Australian government has identified a range of skills for students wanting to improve their employability – improving in areas such as leadership, communication, motivation and initiative, reliability, team work, adaptability and resilience.
Leadership skills encompass a range of strengths, from problem solving to creativity or strategic thinking[i]. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates who can combine these key leadership skills with their technical expertise.
In a survey by the Australian National Association of Colleges and Employers, 72% of employers identified leadership as a skill they actively seek out in prospective employees. The survey also showed that previous leadership experience was one of the top five most valued attributes by employers.
When it comes to gaining leadership experience, there are many ways students can develop these skills before beginning their professional careers. Extra-curricular activities, like volunteering, community service and peer-mentoring, have proven to be an effective way of gaining valuable leadership skills for students.
Nepalese students who can combine technical expertise with these leadership capabilities will be likely to be in high demand across both Australia and Nepal.
At the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and its pathway UTS Insearch, students can develop leadership skills in many ways including student representative programs, student activities clubs and peer-mentoring. High achieving students can volunteer asstudent ambassadors for the UTS Insearch – My Unilifeprogram where they share their experiences about studying in Sydney.
Pramesh Shrestha from Kathmandu says that being a part of the My Unilife program has allowed him to hone his leadership skills. The UTS Insearch Diploma of IT graduate and current UTS student says his extra-curricular activities have been integral to his growth as a leader.
“Getting involved in student activities and volunteering programs has been such a valuable part of my university experience,” Pramesh said.
“As a student ambassador for My Unilifeand a member of various UTS Insearch activities clubs, I’ve had the opportunity to take on leadership roles, develop my interpersonal communication skills and gain experience working as part of a team. These experiences have made me feel more confident moving towards my future career.”
UTS Insearch also offers a unique Leadership Program, which helps students develop leadership and professional skills from their first year. It includes a series of hands-on masterclasses that deliver a fun and interactive learning experience to help students gain new work-ready skills.
UTS Insearch Marketing Manager, Natasha Wheeler, said that the Leadership Program has helped connect participants with experienced presenters, other students and their teachers in new ways.
“Our high-profile speakers introduce new business connections to the students. Students also identify who they already know in their network, and who else they can connect with to generate career opportunities. By the end of the masterclasses, students may have made connections with 30,40 or more people,” Ms Wheeler said.
“Becoming an effective leader involves gaining confidence, developing skills to manage yourself in new situations, and communicating to lead and encourage others.”
ABOUT UTS and UTS Insearch:
The University of Technology Sydney is Australia’s number 1 young university – a dynamic and innovative university based in the heart of Sydney.
Many students choose to go to the University of Technology Sydney by enrolling in UTS Insearch where they develop the knowledge, skills and experience to succeed in their university study and beyond.
Students can select from a range of academic programs at UTS Insearch, and then fast- track into their second year of study at UTS, depending on their grades and course chosen.
Find out more about the unique Leadership Program at insearch.edu.au/leadership