Adedapo Ajibade, executive secretary of Knowledge Exchange Centre, has said that its organisation’s Graduate Advancement Programme (GAP) has recorded 80 percent job placement success rate since inception.
Ajibade, who made this known during the orientation ceremony of the 6th batch held recently, said GAP encompasses all components needed to help graduates secure meaningful employment and accelerate career counselling, mentoring, and internship.
“When we started the GAP, we only started with an employability programme and have recorded success overtime. But now our graduates started requesting technical skills, and we started building technical skills on HR, content writing, data analytics and digital marketing,” he said.
“Based on our assessment since inception to last year, we have had 80percent success rate of job placement within a year when you come to GAP and 60 percent within three months when you come into the gap.”
He added that the programme equips graduates with skills needed in the workplace, making them ahead of their contemporaries in getting the job placement.
According to him, over 100 graduates have been trained in the last five batches, noting that 102 graduates currently in the 6th batch are being trained, bringing the total to over 200 graduates trained since inception.
“The internship for this batch is project based and we have partnered with SME Africa, which has the largest network base of small businesses in Nigeria, to pair them with SMEs to help them apply what they have learnt,” he said.
“The training is a real live experience with a reference point that is backed,” he added.
According to him, the 10-week programme is designed to strategically address unemployment issues in the country, adding that it seeks to address three key areas; lack of job-relevant skills, unemployment/underemployment, and poor social networking skills that are critical factors in addressing Nigeria’s issues of unemployment.
Speaking on the high rate of brain-drain in the country, Ajibade stated that the programme is also training graduates with relevant skills to enable them take up roles left behind by skilled workers moving out of the country.
Also, Charles Nwodo, chairman of Excel Africa Group, said to support graduates to get the required skills needed in the 21st century, he was inspired to set up KEC as a corporate social responsibility vehicle for Excel Africa Group.
He stated that the group yearly commits a percentage of its income to KEC to drive the initiative, while urging the graduates to create their own stories by learning from other successful people around them.
Nwodo noted that if the old generation could surmount the numerous challenges in the country to succeed, then the graduates too can succeed with access to information and technology at their disposal.
Adam Lawal, a graduate of GAP – batch 4, said the programme helped him transform his career from micro-biology to data analyst.
He said the programme had made him believe that he can excel in anything he chooses to do.