ASTANA – A group of 75 college students in Astana, Almaty and Ereimentau (150 kilometres northeast of Astana) had a unique opportunity recently to receive innovative training covering all aspects of building a successful career, depending not only on professional knowledge, but on soft skills, including public speaking, presenting oneself and general communication skills.
The training course was developed as part of the Chevron-sponsored I-SEED project (Innovations: Social Entrepreneurship and Education) implemented by the British Council in Kazakhstan. The project seeks to help young people become more competitive in the labour market.
“I used to be very shy and afraid of speaking in public. But after the training on effective communication, I feel more confident and can now firmly express my opinion,” said Aidana Arysbayeva, a project participant from Astana College of Trade and Economy.
Financial literacy, the basics of project management and career planning are also integral parts of the project. “I learned many new things about project management, marketing, business planning, communication and presentation,” said Adilet Kashkinbayev from the College of Eurasian Humanitarian Institute in Astana. “I always had lots of ideas, but did not know how to implement them in practice. After I-SEED trainings, I am able to turn these ideas into reality by developing my own projects.”
As part of I-SEED, six award-winning project groups, with financial support from Chevron, will get a chance to implement their ideas and demonstrate examples of social innovations – solving community challenges using a project-based approach – skills acquired during six months of trainings.
The I-SEED project is more than just training as it is accompanied by workshops with renowned Kazakh business representatives sharing their personal experience with college students in multiple collaborations. For instance, the first entrepreneurship workshop was jointly organised in Astana in partnership with the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. The guest speaker of the workshop, Khanzada Baltayeva, a prominent Astana entrepreneur, shared her professional “secrets of success” and inspired young people to start up their own small businesses.