The Federal Government has called on tertiary institutions and heads of industries to devise a means and strategy to train Nigerian graduates that would be employable after school .
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo, stated this in Abuja at 2023 International Summer School and Conference of the African Centre for Career Enhancement and Skills Support (ACCESS).
The conference has the theme:’ Cultivating New Frontiers in Employability Research for Skills and Career Enhancement ‘.
Adejo said with the increasing number of tertiary institutions, especially universities, graduates coming out from these institutions cannot find job because of the problem of employabililty.
He said that the missing link between the academia and industries must be addressed so that graduates would possess skills that would make them employable.
According to him, we must continue to collaborate to strengthen educational institutions to solve the problems of youth unemployment.
”This is because there is a missing link between both the teaching and what the market needs, so issues of unemployment and unemployability of the African graduates will always remain very important.
”It is therefore important on us as Africans to devise and implement strategies to train persons that are not only fit for the labour market but will also find job placement when they graduate,” he said.
Adejo commended the National Universities Commission (NUC) for constantly advancing graduate employability through the introduction of Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) in 17 academic disciplines in over 200 programmes.
On his part, the Acting Executive Secretary of NUC, Chris Maiyaki said the commission was saddled with the responsibility to ensure that universities were equipped with the necessary tools, facilities, and skills to nurture employable graduates.
Maiyaki said the graduates must be fully equipped to face the challenges of a dynamic and interconnected world, constantly advancing in technology.
He said the improvement and update of educational programmes constituted a continuum which must align with the realities of global best practices.
According to him, this offers every student the opportunity for constant refinement of the skills needed to be employable in order to excel in an increasingly, competitive world.
”Entrepreneurship has now become part of our educational experience.
”This is because in the face of unrelenting unemployment and disconnect between theoretical and practical knowledge, it behoves on NUC to, in a multi-stakeholders platform begin to convene meetings of this nature to highlight the issues surrounding employability.
”We went into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), wherein we hope to get the buying of captains of industry, employers of labour and stakeholders to build consensus around the issues.
”And for this particular event, we are looking at employability research issues because there is a lot of half truth, sometimes non truth that are planted.
”We hope that international platforms of this nature with all the experts and academics will deepen knowledge surrounding the issues of employability so that we are well informed,” he said.
He pledged that the conference would harness some of the topical issues, best practices and emerging trends around the world, while formulating an implementation machineries with concrete implementable actions to drive graduates employabililty.
Meanwhile, the Project Director, ACCESS, Prof. Utz Dornberger, called on the need to create more structures, resources and competencies from the universities to promote employability.
Dornberger said there must be henceforth ACCESS to support lecturers and professors to develop their competencies in order to help students develop the necessary skills to get better integrated learning for market.
” The Key focus areas are on university to develop more linkages and collaboration with private sector. This universities have to create more collaboration structures with entrepreneurship centres and career services.
”Universities should train more of their own lecturers and professors in order to develop new approaches for teaching their students.
”Classroom teaching is not any more up to date approach but we need much more collaboration with industries to bring the practical task and problems to the classroom.
”So that students can work on real life
projects and try to develop solutions for the private sector and also the whole society and lecturers of such universities have to coach this type of project,” he said .
The ACCESS was established in 2020, is in partnership with seven counties to provide innovative ways to promote employability of African graduates.
The countries are Netherlands, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Tunisia and Germany.