BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

As NECA mounts job fair in PH

...S’South chairman says trained youths now hotcakes in international labour market

Unemployed graduates from the Niger Delta, trained in a two-year apprenticeship scheme organised by the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), have become hotcakes in the international labour market.

This revelation dropped Tuesday, November 22, 2022, in Port Harcourt where NECA mounted a first-ever job fair at the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) secretariat on Danjuma Drive off Peter Odili Road.

The South-South zonal chairman, Chris Biriowu, who made the disclosure, said NECA had come up with a two-year apprenticeship scheme which absorbed graduates as apprentices to enable them get the much demanded ‘years of experience.’

During the two years, the attachees were paid a stipend per month but they worked to learn, not necessarily to earn.

The NECA boss said the result was that most of the beneficiaries began to get jobs both in Nigeria and outside, saying the outcome gave NECA huge satisfaction.

On growing cases of unemployment, Biriowu said: “Our way of helping out is by partnering with governments to place already trained ones to now acquire skills.

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“Those we trained are now employed all over the world; in Congo, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, etc.”

He said the job fair was aimed at educating potential employees and assisting them to prepare their curriculum vitae to project them better before employers.

He shocked the hall filled with job seekers that Nigeria is not facing an unemployment crisis but un-employability. “This is because the universities are churning out unemployable youths graduates.

“We have since called on the National Universities Commission (NUC) should revisit their academic curricula because what they study is not what the employers want.

“The benefit of this exercise is that youths will now become employable. When they become employed, they will pay taxes. Youths must pay attention and learn. Those who missed this one can join the next ones.”

Speaking, Napoleon Akpe, Director of Employment in the Rivers State Ministry of Labour and Employment, who represented the Commissioner, said the partnership with NECA has come a long way.

He said the job situation required all hands to be on deck, saying about 2000 Rivers youths besiege the ministry every day to check if there were opportunities available.

He urged NECA and the companies that train graduates to go further and employ the trainees so the scheme would be more impactful.

Turning the job seekers, Akpe advised them to begin to show seriousness from their Curriculum Vitae (CV).

He urged employers to stop demanding that applicants must not be above 25 years because most applicants seek jobs for almost 10 years after graduating. He also said it was unfair to ask for experience from graduates who are not at fault for being unemployed.

Urging the youths to be serious, he told them not to indulge in vices because employers usually investigate applicants quietly. He called for a paradigm shift.

Several officials from employers’ bodies spoke and gave tips on getting jobs to the youths.

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