In our previous conversation, I introduced us to a character (the amputee hawker) who amid all odds took it upon herself to hawk in the streets of Lagos in spite of her physical condition but one thing stood her out - her mental ability. Today, we'll be x-raying some of the major challenges Nigerian graduates are facing in the labour market.
Just before we roll, there is no country in the world that has 100 per cent workable system to cater for all the teeming population of youths graduating from institutions of higher learning on a yearly basis but what we have in most advanced or developed climes is a well-grounded sustainable goals aimed at rendering top-notch services to this stratum of the society as compared to what's obtainable in the third world countries where inequality and inadequacies become the order of the day. Hence, it is wisdom to be more self-reliance than government-dependent because, the latter is only there as a supportive machinery but the bulk of the work lies on you as a 'graduate with sense'.
At this juncture, permit me to rephrase the topic under discourse from 'Graduates without sense' to 'Graduates with sense' because in this edition, you'll be exposed to some things that will help change your mindset, thereby giving you a good and well-informed insight into becoming the geniuses you ought to be.
'We have ourselves to blame'
Many a time, most graduates blame the government for all their predicaments or inabilities while sheering away from the realities around them. As a graduate, how many times have you sat yourself down to look for other alternative measures to solving the problem of unemployment in Nigeria.
One of the major challenges confronting graduates today is not that there are no jobs but the deficit in Nigeria's education system which is highlighted by the fact that only one in four Nigerian graduates applying for a job will get a spot. The reason is because most organisations are only interested in how employable you're than the number of distinctions or high grades you bagged in class.
The four walls of the university is far beyond passing exams while failing to understand the realities in the industry. Gone are the days first class graduates get suitable employment after university but today, we have many first class going into petty jobs to survive.
Statistics showed that, 36.26% of recent graduates are currently employed while about 2.9 million of Nigerian graduates are unemployed according to an online survey by Covenant University Repository.
In 2020 for instance, the estimated youth unemployment rate in Nigeria was at almost 14.2 per cent. According to the source, the data are estimates from the International Labour Organisation, an agency of the United Nations developing policies to set labour standards.
Based on the available data, we have more graduates than what organisations can accommodate because there are no room for them to recruit new staff as they ought to. We must therefore, look for other alternatives to getting a flowing income for ourselves, right? This brings us back to our lead story of the physically-challenged Lagos hawker who has been in the news for distinguishing herself in spite of what the society dictates.
As I write, the lady is on the verge of becoming a millionaire in her twenties while we still have some April fools at 40 with little or no sense of what to do to make money works for them. You don't need to be looking for job while you've what it takes to be employer of labour. The problem is that you have refused to learn the basics of harnessing wealth.
I remember after graduating from the university, I went back to the organisation I did my Industrial Training for freelancing. Despite the fact I was not on their payroll, I was never discouraged to discharge my duty as occasion demands. It was really an eye-saw as things became tougher and the onus lies on me to look for another alternative to be able to augment my expenses. Guess what? I pressed further without minding the distractions around me.
As God would have it, a young man who came from a rival outlet picked interest in me as a result of my commitment and dedication to work as time goes by, and recommended me to where I work at the moment. What if I stopped going to the office, I would have missed the golden opportunity to get a suitable employment (in Ernest) and in turn, have myself to blame.
My dear compatriots, we need to change that mindset of until we 'get a big job offer' before we start applying for jobs. To be candid, there are no big job offer anywhere. It takes God's grace and connection to find your dream job. There is nobody that is great today that ever started great but it takes mastery and perseverance to ascertain greatness. Be passionate about building 'process' than striving for 'success'. When you pass through the laws of process, success becomes an easy task to achieve.
Watch in for the next edition!
By Arogbonlo Israel