Exploring how to match the needs and the resources of the job market; this was the purpose of the YPARD and Agrinatura Career Fair, held on 16, September 2014, on the sideline of the Tropentag at CULS (Czech University of Life Sciences), Prague.
The fair gathered a majority of Master and Phd students, some young professionals and employers and university professors. As an overall there were only one third of men. The session was very dynamic and interactive with a lot of questions from the audience.
You(th) as individuals, the education offer, employers, but also the public sector - all play a role in making young professionals “employable”. The Career Fair was a mean to learn about each stakeholder’s interests and perspectives. Employers were able to voice their "demand" for stronger “YPs” profiles, Universities collected inputs that would serve to adapt their curricula and Young Professionals and students received a number of tips to prepare themselves to the job market. A career fair is, for students, a first approach to the job market.
The objectives of the day were thus to get an overview of the job market, to provide ideas on how to build up a professional career through concrete examples, to get a vision of what employers expect from you(th), and to open young people’s mind on the perspectives of entrepreneurship - it may indeed not only be about grabbing existing opportunities but also about CREATING opportunities. Eventually, the day gave space for networking among the participants; and indeed, “Network! Network! Network!” may be the key lesson to retain from these exchanges.
The floor was given first to Alumni who shared their personal experience on how they entered the job market. Then Employers shared their views on what they expect from junior professionals and what are the main weaknesses and strengths of nowadays YPs. Eventually, Young entrepreneurs presented their innovative ideas and shared about those skills they think are missing in education in order to prepare young people to entrepreneurship.
Do you know Agrinatura and YPARD?
Agrinatura is the “entry- gate to European cooperation in agricultural research and education for Development. It isn’t only oriented to the south but mainly to the south. They have two major programs: “Agrismundus”, for masters students and “AgTraIn”, for Phd students. It gathers 31 universities and research centres. Their activities focus on joint courses, support to High Education Institutions (HEI) in developing countries and project development for Capacity Development in Agricultural Research for Development.
They notably offer a Master program in sustainable development in agriculture. Wageningen, Copenhagen, Cork, Catania, Madrid, Montpellier Universities belong to this alliance, both for Masters and Phd programs. Students do the first year in one university and the second year in another country. One third of the students generally carries on with a Phd. The majority of the alumni are working in local development, then in water management, food processing and agricultural production. A minority works on livestock production. Field work is the main activity of the alumni and NGOs the main employer.
YPARD – The young professionals for Agricultural Development is an international movement by Young Professionals FOR Young Professionals for Agricultural Development. YPARD operates as a network; it is not a formalized institution. At the heart of YPARD as a movement are its members, who are encouraged to become active in their area, spread the news about YPARD to other young professionals, encourage a stronger voice of youth in their own organizations and share their views and ideas with other young professionals in the network.
This global on-line and off-line communication and discussion platform is meant to enable YPs all over the world to realize their full potential and contribute towards innovative agricultural development. YPARD notably conducted a research on youth perspectives on the skills needed by Today’s Youth for agricultural development. YPARD as the young professionals’ network for agriculture development contributes to bridge Young Professionals and employers’ path through testimonials and encounters.
Picture credit: Hansjurg Jager – YPARD Europe.