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Gen Y graduates need etiquette lessons. -

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ELEANOR HALL: It is an unusual focus for an institution of higher learning. But Griffith University
in Brisbane has decided it needs to teach its students the old-fashioned art of etiquette.
Academics are now running courses for commerce students on how to converse and dine with clients
without embarrassing themselves and how to dress appropriately.

In Brisbane, Annie Guest reports.

ANNIE GUEST: Students around the country will soon be turning up for university orientation
activities. But for some studying commerce at Queensland's Griffith University, board shorts and
thongs will be out at O week.

CRAIG CAMERON: For many of them they get the shock of their lives to realise how to dress

ANNIE GUEST: Craig Cameron is the director of Griffith's Bachelor of Commerce. He says lessons for
students doing a workplace-based course will now be extended to the traditional commerce

CRAIG CAMERON: Things like time management, how to deal with clients, negotiation skills,
professional ethics.

ANNIE GUEST: And then the lessons get a little more personal.

CRAIG CAMERON: How to dress appropriately. Just how to converse with clients during a lunch or
dinner setting. Dealing with dining etiquette.

ANNIE GUEST: Will it come down to how to use your knife and fork as well?

CRAIG CAMERON: I hope not, no.

ANNIE GUEST: While keeping your elbows off the table and your knife and fork horizontal may not be
in the curriculum, there is concern that lessons traditionally learnt over meals at home have been

TRACEY HODGKINS: We are also not getting those skills from home because mum and dad doesn't sit
down to eat with them anymore and they don't know how to talk to adults. They tend to talk in
shorthand because most of the time they are using social media.

ANNIE GUEST: Tracey Hodgkins is the chief executive of the Australian Experiential Learning Centre.
She says there's 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.

TRACEY HODGKINS: It takes such a long time to integrate young people into a business and businesses
lose money on them so they don't really want to employ them as much. They would rather have someone
with a bit more experience.

ANNIE GUEST: So this is very much, to put a label on it, a Generation Y issue?

TRACEY HODGKINS: Yes, it is because my generation for example, you left school, you went to work
and then you might get a degree after that. 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.

ELEANOR HALL: Tracey Hodgkins is from the Australian Experiential Learning Centre. She was speaking
to Annie Guest in Brisbane.