British Council Skills for Employability is all about creating opportunities for young people that improve their chances of finding meaningful employment that meets the needs of employers and the modern workplace. Many young people have very little interaction with employers and so are unaware of the opportunities that are available to them and what they must do to be able to enjoy them. The first careers fair in Armenia, held in May 2011, enabled young students and graduates to meet and network with employers and find out more about their organisations and the range of roles within them.
More than 3500 students, recruited through careers centres and social networking sites, and 100 employers and academic institutions attended the ‘Build Your Future Today’ event, which was organised and hosted by USAID Pension and Labour Market Reform project, the State Employment Service Agency, and the Youth Career Orientation Centre, with the support of the British Council, the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia, American Chamber of Commerce, Armenian Chamber of Commerce, Employers Union of Armenia, DVV International, IREX and Global Developments Fund.
As well as meeting with potential employers, visitors were able to attend workshops providing invaluable advice on areas such as professional orientation, career guidance, job search techniques, resume writing, interview skills, and how to present themselves professionally to employers. The British Council workshops on Certificates for the World of Work and IELTS: the Test That Sets the Standards also proved popular.
Feedback from the young attendees was extremely positive: Karine Harutyunyan, a 19 year old student at the State Agrarian University of Armenia, said: ‘This is just great. This fair proved to me that there is a vibrant job market out there for students, with opportunities learn and grow.’
The overwhelming success of this ground breaking event, and the significant media attention it attracted, has been a great encouragement to the British Council to organise more careers events in Armenia in the future.