Brisbane’s Griffith University has decided it needs to teach its students the old fashioned art of etiquette.
Griffith’s Bachelor of Commerce director Craig Cameron says many new students who may turn up to O-week in board shorts and sandals will get the shock of their lives.
“Things like time management, how to deal with clients, negotiation skills, professional ethics,” Mr Cameron said.
“How to dress appropriately… just, how to converse with clients during a lunch or dinner setting, and dealing with dinner etiquette.”
Mr Cameron says he hopes lessons will not come down to how to use a knife and fork as well.
Australian Experiential Learning Centre chief executive Tracey Hodgkins says there is increasing demand for private courses designed to bridge the gap between university and work, because employers are unimpressed by the lack of social skills among graduates.
“We are not getting those skills at home because mum and dad don’t sit down to eat with children any more, and so they don’t know how to talk to adults,” she said.
“They tend to talk in shorthand because most of the time they are using social media.”
Ms Hodgkins says this has made many young people unattractive to future employers.
“It takes such a long time to integrate young people into a business that businesses lose money on them,” she said.
“They would rather have someone with a bit more experience.”
She says this is a generation-wide issue.
“My generation, for example, you left school, you went to work and then you might get a degree after that,” she said.
“Not a lot of people went and got degrees first, and even if you did, there was a lot more space in the degree to actually go out and do things that you might gain those skills doing.”