As part of efforts to strengthen institutional human resource, the Climate Impact Research Capacity Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) has organised a two-day career development workshop for staff in the non-teaching category of University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR).

CIRCLE is an initiative of the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom to develop the skills and research output of early career African Researchers in the field of climate change and its local impacts on development. The rationale of the workshop is to appreciate the support of administrative staff in the academic setting by focusing on frame works that enhances one’s career development and aimed to scale up the matching or pairing of mentors (Senior Members Administrators) to Senior Staff Administrators (Mentees) for a period of one year. These formed part of the objectives of the project titled ‘Capacity Building and Career Development for Administrative Staff and Mentor-Mentee Pairing’.

Giving the opening remarks at the workshop, the Pro Vice Chancellor—Prof. Emmanuel Opuni-Frimpong who also doubles as the CIRCLE Champion, giving the opening remarks at the workshop clarified that the mentoring informally existed and formed an important aspect in human institutions adding that mentoring is very necessary in career development.   He further said the CIRCLE-ISP project seeks to mentor staff in a formal and participatory way so that both parties (mentor and mentee) feel involved in the process.

The lead facilitator and Dean of the School of Management Sciences and Law, Prof. Yaw Ofosu-Kusi, presenting on the topic ‘Developing Your Career as an Administrator or Faculty Member in the University’ explained to the participants that individuals are identified by what they do; hence, there is a need not to remain static but seek to progress personally ‘to grow, evolve and progress in what we do’, he added.

Prof. Kusi said career development is the path chart staff should pursue to improve their working lives and chances as humans. He added that progression in life is a personal responsibility that needed one to know him or herself by asking where they are and where they desire to be in the not-too-distant future. He advised participants to set achievable goals within a set timeline adding that they should do more research and reflects on the areas they aspire to be. He encouraged the participants not to feel downplayed by their failures; rather, such should be an opportunity to be stronger and do more.

The Registrar of Catholic University College of Ghana, Mr H H Akosah, also presented on the topic ‘The Importance of Mentoring and its Effect on Employee Output’. He made it known that mentoring is very important to achieving organisational goals. He said that developmental mentoring provides individuals with role models and may be a means of providing information about career and training opportunities. Mr Akosah urged participants to look for good mentors who are good role models, successful in career, inspires and accessible, among other characteristics.

Mr Akosah mentioned that increasing mentorship engagement improves productivity for organisations through knowledge sharing. He added that this promotes innovation and fills knowledge gap as individuals become more resourceful in solving problems. According to him, it is a time for new staff to become acquainted with the company’s culture to understand their roles in organisations. This he said improves employee retention, career and leadership, he continued saying through these ‘individuals get to know their roles and are appropriately trained to be more productive to accomplish more for the organisation’.

Participants were also taken through topics such as ‘Understanding the Communication Channels of the University for Effective Administration’ and ‘The Role of an Administrator in the University’ delivered by the Registrar of UENR, Mr Solomon Panford, and the Head of Human Resources Division, Mr Alfred O. Appiah, respectively.

Other members of the ISP project include Dr. Simon Abugre, ISP Coordinator; Dr Mrs Mercy Derkyi, RDF Coordinator.