Online Self-Coaching Programme to Enhance Employability of Social Work Students
In view of an increase in access to tertiary education and intense competition among graduates to find jobs in the labour market, the questions, “Who is responsible for ensuring the employability of students?” and “How can the employability of students be improved?” are of paramount importance. This article endeavours to answer these questions by focusing on the part that students themselves can play. An online self-coaching programme is introduced as an alternative strategy for enhancing the employability of social work students. The experiences of students from residential learning (RL) and open distance e-learning (ODeL) contexts who participated in a pilot study in South Africa are presented. The self-coaching programme is based on research conducted on the support needs of social work students using the Intervention Design and Development Model of Rothman and Thomas. Two online versions of the programme emerged and were piloted as part of content preparation by 10 social work students in two universities in South Africa, representing ODeL and RL contexts. A qualitative approach and purposive sampling were employed in the study. The data were analysed using the eight steps formulated by Tesch. The participants averred that the online self-coaching programme could be used effectively to facilitate social work students’ academic, professional and personal development, and to prepare them for employment in a competitive labour market.