By Emma Elebeke
New Horizons and th National Directorate of Employment have launched Skills for Employment and Enterprise (SEE) with a view to tackling the problem of graduate unemployment in Nigeria.
Over ten thousands unemployed graduates were empowered at the lunching of SEE programs which also served as the 4th national job Fair to be organised by New Horizons Nigeria.
But this year edition was unique in several dimensions. One, National Directorate of Employment has decided to throw its federal weigh behind the yearly New Horizons Job Fair going forward in its effort at tackling the youth employment.
Two, the event witnessed foreign speakers from America. And three, the event which took place recently at National Stadium, Lagos and Ibadan witnessed unprecedented number of participants.
According to Tim Akano, New Horizons MD, the lunching of SEE has become urgent and imperative in Nigeria against the background of the wide skill gaps that exist today between the industry requirement and what the university graduates have.
Feedback from various employers have shown that today’s university graduates do not posses readymade skills that will make them hit the ground running from their first day in the office.
This is why the Graduate Trainee program which used to take one year in most multinationals in the past now takes three years. As a result, some Multinationals now prefer to hire Asians to do jobs which Nigerians could do even better with additional training.
SEE project will empower the Nigerian graduates not only in Information Technology skills like Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, IT-Security etc, but also with skills in Personal Branding, Customer Service, Executive Etiquette, Selling Skill, Communication and Leadership and Entrepreneurship.
This will take an average of three months and upon completion graduates will be assisted with job placement as Industrial attaché in banks, telecoms, manufacturing and other companies.
It is our expectation, says Mr Tim Akano, that those who excel as industrial attaché will be readily absorbed by the organisations. Secondly, for those who would like to be wealth creators, the skills acquired during the three months SEE program would have prepared them to start a small scale business in Information Technology as a Consultant to major organisations.
At the end of the Seminar, one hundred Nigerians were awarded full scholarships to study any Information Technology of their choice and other soft skills to prepare them for a career in corporate organisations under the SEE project.