Understanding the Benefits of Career Development for Young Graduates

Robin Ullrich

HRIQ Speaks with Robin Ullrich, Training and Development Superintendent for the Qatar Chemical Company Ltd. Ullrich discusses how Q-Chem utilizes scholarship and internship programs to train young graduates, as well as understanding the benefits of career development programs and incorporating vocational training and graduate trainee programs to enable nationals to make the right career choices.

HRIQ: What are some of the benefits of career development programs for graduates?

Robin Ullrich: There are a number of benefits for career development programs for graduates.

A clear Career Path paves the way for clear expectations. There is no misunderstanding as to the role each person plays in the development process of graduates, and the graduates feel they have been heard and therefore there is greater likelihood of buy – in from the graduates.

Additionally, each graduate should have a "Dedicated Mentor," a person who oversees their ongoing development by interacting with the graduate, the supervisor and other stakeholders on a regular basis. There is open communication in regards to progress being made and any other issues that may arise where the graduate may need special attention, so as to ensure the program remains on track.
Top management support makes implementation that much easier, as there is a vested interest in the success of graduates to reach the target positions.

Finally, having structured career programs improves on the overall team work and also improves communication between all involved parties.

How might you identify institutional gaps in the education program to meet the requirements of your industry, and adapt your recruiting strategy accordingly?

Career planning seems to be one of the biggest gaps at the moment. Students are not fully aware of the work opportunities that the industry has to offer and are also not clear on the type of work that graduates will need to perform once they start working.

Another area that would help to support our recruiting strategy is for the instructors at the various educational institutes to spend time understanding the requirements of industry and the type of work that the industry performs. Closer collaboration is crucial between all parties.

Can you describe how Qatar Chemical Company Ltd. has incorporated vocational training and graduate trainee programs to enable nationals to make the right career choices?

The vocational training and graduate training programs have clearly defined development pathways. It is within these defined pathways that the trainees and graduates start to realize a sense of the type of work they will be exposed to.

During various stages of their respective programs, reviews are conducted where Q-Chem checks to see if the trainees are on the right career path track. If there is a misalignment of the individuals’ needs, organizational needs and the qualification of the incumbent, a change in the career path may take place that will be better suited for the individual and be of benefit to the organization.

What are your top tips to support and motivate nationals to plan for the future?

1.Look for organizations that offer real work opportunities.

2.Actively engage in the organization you work for, as your contribution is valued and everyone collectively makes a difference.

3.Seek organizations offering development that is meaningful, competency-based and not time-based.

4.Where opportunities arise to be involved in voluntary teams, graduates should jump at these prospects, as this helps you to learn more about the organization, meet more people and build relationships that you may depend on at a later stage as you progress on in your career.

Interview conducted by Alexandra Guadagno, Editor for Human Resources iQ.