The Maze of Rising Unemployment and Severe Skills Shortages

May 9, 2019

   A recent statistics released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), reveals that the unemployment rate in Nigeria increased from 17.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018.  That’s an increase of about three million unemployed people.

    What this means is it that, over 35% of Nigerians that fall within the employable age are currently unemployed. The unemployment rate in the country has continued to soar with no end in sight. About 200,000 graduates are churned out of higher institutions every year with little job opportunities available to a tenth of that number.

    This leaves us with the begging question: what is responsible for the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria? The following are some of the reasons that are most prevailing:

   1. Inferior standard of education: The inability of graduates of Nigeria to compete with graduates from other climes, as a result of the focus of our educational institutions on theoretical instead of practical education. This limits the chances of employment for graduates, especially on the international market.

   2. Singular economy focus: The oil sector amounts for about 95% of the country's economy. This has led to an over-reliance on this particular industry, and thus, has led other sectors such as education, agriculture, entrepreneurial and social infrastructures, to suffer.

   3. Power Problem: The issue of energy supply has always been a persistent problem in the country and has led to a reduction in entrepreneurial activities. It has also driven foreign industries out of the country, and, as an extension, led to reduction in employment opportunities.

  4. Lack of employability skills: Also referred to as foundational or job-readiness skills. They are soft and hard skills that fit into any work environment, as they are imperative in solving real life problems. This is crucial as soft skill is in high demand in the labour market. 

   Nigerians lack many of these skills that employers are seeking; some of these include:

1. ICT: you would be surprised by the number of graduates that cannot navigate through Microsoft packages, as well as updating themselves with professional courses like Project Management Professional (PMP).

2. Good communication skills: the ability to pass message across boards, both verbal and non-verbal.

3. Critical thinking, good work ethics, teamwork, willingness to learn etc, are all critical factors to promote employability.

4. Creating a strong CV/Resume, as well as interview skills such as proper research of the organization, proper dressing and maintenance of eye contact.

5. Poor/bad social media presence. Especially proper positioning on social networking sites such as LinkedIn.

    To solve these highlighted issues, employers and employees have a keen role to play. Employers need to provide SIWES/IT and internship opportunities to recruit right undergraduates who are committed to learning in the industry. 
    On the side of the employee, thriving for employability skills should be the optimal concern. To tackle unemployment in Nigeria, West Africa Vocational Education, as a social enterprise, has considered this as a prerequisite to curb or minimize the level of unemployment in Nigeria. 
   With this, the organization up-skills young Africans who have shown high committed to learning with the aim of connecting them to entry-level jobs.

 Kindly apply today!!!

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