By Salisu Ismail Kabuga
Investigation carried out recently shows that the current rate of unemployment among youths is at its peak, with about 41% of respondents attributing their unemployed state to the rejection of their applications, which is linked to issues relating to the lack of soft skills, poorly Crafted Cv’s and cover letters as well as religious and cultural barriers.
This was hinted by the Chief Executive Officer, Jobberman Nigeria Hilda Kragha while making a presentation during a Zoom seminar on Skills Gap Is the Training of Undergraduates in Nigeria on his paper “Bridging the Gap In Young People” organised by the Centre for Information Technology And Development (CITAD) with support from a West African based – Rose Luxemburg Foundation.
Mr Hilda Kragha during the virtual meeting between stakeholders stated in his presentation that, now aday, the nature of works is requiring new set of skills, noting that, this has resulted in a skills gap as employers are prioritising soft skills over technical skills.
The Executive Director Jobberman, Nigeria, explained that, in Nigeria, the skills gap contributes to the current unemployment rate of 23.1% which means that, 1 in 5 are unemployed among the job seekers.
“Over 60% of Nigeria’s population are below the age of 35 years,By 2020 Nigeria’s population will be 440 million, 60% of which will mean over 264 million young people, we must prepare young people differently for the future of work,” Kragha stressed.
According to him, In today’s world, Disruption in technology and Covid-19 has expanded what it means to be employable as employers are ever more seeking job seekers that are adaptable, creative, resilient, proactive and collaborative.
The finding also discovered that, more employers see soft skills as crucial towards bringing these gap and improving the competency level of young people in the workplace.
However, Mr Kragha’s finding on “Bridging the Soft Skills Gap In Young People” recommended that, Academia can play a useful role by actively seeking ways to embed soft skills into universities’s curricular using innovation pedagogy.
Other recommendations as suggested in the finding includes collaborating with soft skills practioners as co-equal partners can help strengthen the quality of existing soft skills curriculum and also help to galvanise advocacy for policy uptake among others.
The virtual seminar with relaxant participants from almost all angle of life were moderated by Professor Pam Sha of the National Institute for policies and strategic studies, Kuru.
CITAD Communication Officer Ali Sabo, in a remark, reaffirmed the commitment of the center towards advocating for an enabling policies and innovations that would help in equiping students with proper knowledge that they can excel in the labour market in order to reduce the rate of unemployment among Nigeria’s youths.