WORK AWARENESS AND YOU PROGRAMME
The Work Awareness and You (WAY) intervention
WAY, The Promise Foundation's career education programme is designed
to meet the career development needs of the disadvantaged adolescent.
WAY rests on the premise that every individual has talents and potentials
that could become his or her career and source of livelihood. The
intervention combines traditional methods of career counseling such
as aptitude testing and career information, with interventions that
address the young person's attitudes and mindsets. WAY attempts
to provide the young person with career development skills that
could place him/her on a trajectory toward gainful employment.
WAY focuses on school to work transition and is based on extensive
research. The programme is theoretically grounded in some of the
most current conceptions of the human potential (e.g. Theory of
Multiple Intelligences) and established theories of career psychology
(e.g. Social Cognitive Career Theory). WAY is conducted as a standardised,
group workshop directly in schools that cater to children from lower
income groups. Given below is a brief overview of the WAY programme.
to the future
Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to view the future
in terms of the deprivations that they experience in the present.
The WAY workshop begins with activities
that help the young person understand that one can plan for career
development and that actions taken (or not taken) today have an
impact on prosperity in the future.
Helping young people discover personal talents and aptitudes goes
a long way in building their confidence to make career plans and
set goals for the future. WAY
uses standardised inventories and tests to facilitate self discovery.
These tests have been developed by The Promise Foundation and are
administered in the vernacular.
Understanding the World of Work
Disadvantaged young people's orientation to the world of work is
often limited to settling for 'whatever I can get'. WAY widens their
horizons and introduces them to the many career possibilities open
to them. A systematic format is used to help participants understand
career names and career paths. Activities are interactive and students
learn about the world of work.
A significant problem we have noticed among children from deprived
backgrounds, is that they are unaware of the opportunities for employment/training,
scholarships, grants and government support that are available.
The Promise Foundation has developed a special data bank of career
opportunities for young people who do not have the resources to
pursue further education. This data bank is made available to the
workshop participants during the WAY programme.
then helps the student blend information about personal interests
and aptitudes with information about the world of work. The career
development target at this stage is to help the student develop
clear, attainable goals for skills
acquisition through further education, before entering the world
of work. Important issues such as work ethics, dealing with failure,
orientation to prosperity, the need to delay gratification of personal
wants and making long term plans are addressed through games, role
plays and activities. This part of the programme prepares the student
to develop career plans that could be implemented within the frame
work of resources that are available.
spontaneous gesture of a student who had attended one of our
careers research projects, provides an apt illustration of
the impact of the WAY programme. Almost eight months after
the programme, a young man visited us. Full of confidence
he walked into the researcher's office and said that he had
attended a six month course on screen printing and now had
a regular job. Then, rather shyly he said he had something
to give the researcher. He drew a soiled envelope from his
pocket and said, "I received my first salary today. I
want you to use this to help someone else in the way you helped
me." Inside the envelope was a fifty rupee note. A large
sum of money for a boy from his background. Moved, but curious
we asked him which of the intervention groups he had belonged
to. The boy looked up and said, "The group where we learned
to think differently."