Nigeria is suffering from a high rate of unemployment, particularly with graduates. Employers have long complained that most graduates in the country lack employable skills. As CGTN’s Deji Badmus reports, authorities in the country’s commercial city of Lagos are now offering a solution.
Uche Uwazigo is a graduate of computer science. But seven years after he left university, he has yet to find a job. He comes to a town newsstand almost daily to look for existing vacancies advertised in the newspapers.
“Most of the jobs I have seen all require experience,” Uche tells CGTN Africa.
“The least I have seen so far is three to five years’ experience. And for school leavers like us, it is very difficult for us to be invited for interviews because we don’t have any experience.”
Authorities in Lagos have now designed an initiative to help deal with the problem. The “Ready Set Work” initiative is a scheme designed to equip final year students of tertiary institutions in the State with the skills to gain employment or set up their own businesses after they graduate.
Education Advisor, Fela Bank-Olemoh tells CGTN Africa: “It’s an entrepreneurship and employability programme in response to corporate Nigeria’s request that we need to do something to improve the quality of our graduates.
“We are preparing them for the world of work. And beyond preparing them for the world of work, we are also going to place them on internships across the country.”
The government is hoping to provide training for 12,000 students in all. Of those students, 2000 final year students will be selected for a face to face programme that will run for thirteen weeks. 750 out of the 2000 will then be placed on internship in various companies.
“We also have another 10,000 students in the RSW via our RSW academy. And that is open to students in their penultimate year. So if you’re in your penultimate year, you register. It’s a prerequisite for you to be part of the programme in 2018,” adds Bank-Olemoh.
At this special session, trainers are undergoing their final orientation before the training programme begins with the students. For now, the scheme is restricted to students in the six tertiary institutions in Lagos.
Unfortunately for someone like Uche, he is not qualified for the scheme. He will either have to look for alternative ways to get the required skills and experience needed for the job he wants or just continue his job-hunting.