Effects of Graduate Trainee Programmes on the Preparedness of Fresh Graduates for the Job Market: A Case of National Construction Authority
Gichuki, Kariuki Paul
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The intention of the study was todeterminehow the graduate trainee programmesaffects the preparedness of graduates for the job market. The study focused specifically on trainee motivation, work assignment, work supervision and practical experience of the trainees at the National Construction Authority. The statement of the problem was that, despite the best intentions of academic institutions to enhance graduates’ preparedness through graduate trainee programmes, the limitations inherent within such programmes consistently produce mixed outcomes for employers, graduates and sponsors. Some trainees are able to handle tasks upon undergoing the programmes, others have been found to be grossly ineffectual and unequipped to handle practical work. The importance of the study include to the policy makers, individual trainees, universities and colleges, sponsors, the management of NCA and other government entities. Private firms will also benefit from the findings of this study. The findings would influence planning and execution of such graduate trainee programmesto ensure meaningful results. The study was guided by both behavioural and experiential learning theoriesandthe human capital theory. Descriptive design was used and targeted 312 graduate trainees but sampled 30% of them using stratified sampling. Purposive sampling wasused to identify the specific respondents from each stratum. Qualitative and quantitative datawas collected using a questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS. Data presentation is done using descriptive including frequency tables, mean and the standard deviation while inferential statistics is presented using a regression model. The study found out that the graduate trainee programmein NCA had contributed significantly towards enhancing knowledge base in their career and developed self-confidence to pursue their career. The study established that work assignments and tasks carried out by the graduate trainees were relevant to their course. The study also found out that practical experience improved interpersonal skills of the graduate trainees in the real work situation. The study concludes that work assignment significantly influences preparedness of graduate trainees for the job market. When graduate trainees are given assignment or tasks that commensurate with the course they trained in colleges, they are motivated in their careers development. The study also concludes that graduates preparedness involve acquiring appropriate knowledge, skills and competencies in their area of specialization. Graduates trainees,are prepared for the job market by possessing knowledge and skills and hence making them to be reliable in the job market. The study recommends that organizations offering graduate trainingprogrammes should ensure that the training programs are designed to reflect the skills demanded by employers or industries in the job market.