Work and learn

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Local firms welcome university students as part-timers while they are studying, yet are worried students might lack responsibility when carrying out their jobs, according to a study conducted by the Macao Professional Development Association.
In addition, the study found that firms are willing to hire university students as a way of resolving seasonal or short-term shortages of staff.
Meanwhile, hiring university students for part-time work can help manage shortages of personnel, with students benefitting from receiving social experiences as well as work experiences, details the report.

Values matter most
According to the results, effort put in by firms towards university students’ part-time jobs is classified as medium high, with resources input in ‘remuneration’ the highest among 10 areas studied by the group, indicating that firms mostly focus their resources and incentives on wages for the students.
Other areas include ‘guarantee-ability’, ‘human resources’ and ‘company culture’ which also enjoy a high dedication of resources by local firms towards students.
Moreover, the result shows that the working performance of students was rated as medium high.
‘Working attitude’, which has great influence over the productivity of a worker, has the highest rating among the other five areas, and includes work engagement and adaptability.
The high rate of ‘working attitude’ reflects students’ good working conditions, details the report.
In overall terms, the more resources invested into university students, the better the working performance of the students.

Suggestions to firms
and government
For firms, the study suggests strengthening basic training for part-timers, given that the average rate of resources invested in the ‘growth of the firm’ is lower than that in the area of ‘remuneration’.
Respondents of the survey revealed that the majority of firms only briefly introduce the work content and requirements to the new workers, without further providing any basic training regarding the professions.
Performing training would also build familiarity between co-workers, notes the report, suggesting that firms also hold activities outside work to build stability and cohesion with part-timers, given that misunderstandings often appear between students and senior workers.
Holding activities for workers would also allow opportunities for students to learn how to communicate and network.
Meanwhile, the study also puts forward suggestions for the government, in particular regarding the setup of related laws to help guarantee students’ interests, such as determining a standard wage rate for part-time jobs.
The study also advises the government to combat any illicitly-run institutions providing job hunting services.
Students are often easily tricked by firms due to their lack of legal knowledge, notes the report, suggesting that the government launch a centre to specifically provide legal support for university students who have part-time jobs.
The centre should also take the initiative by visiting universities to answer students’ legal queries relating to living, learning and job hunting.