Lagos State Government on Thursday said that there is need for a change of approach to employment opportunities among job seekers in order to meet the present-day realities and demands in the labour market.
The Acting Commissioner, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Solape Hammond stated this while addressing a group of young graduates at a two-day “Work Conference 2020” organised by the Ministry, in collaboration with 1st CRT Management Services, at Alausa, Ikeja.
Mrs. Hammond observed that the realisation of the need to bridge the unemployment gap in the State informed the decision of the present administration to partner a training consultancy firm, 1st CRT Management Services, to further prepare young graduates for employment opportunities by enhancing their skills and harnessing their potentials.
“The current model of education, career planning and job searching need a facelift. Considering the dynamism in the global labour market, workers need not wait till the shift arises before learning and teaching the new rules of success, which requires workforce to be proactive and strategic in thinking”, Hammond stated.
Represented at the event by the Director of Employment in the Ministry, Mrs. Iyabo Seriki-Bello, the Acting Commissioner disclosed that the partnership would further aid the realisation of the objectives of the present administration as enunciated in its T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.
In her words, “The Ministry was particularly delighted to support this programme that aligns with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda pillar of making Lagos a 21st-Century Economy.”
While underscoring the importance of technology to job search, Hammond stated that in preparing young people for future work, due recognition must be given to the wave of technological breakthroughs, stressing that “We can’t fight innovation or disruption, what we can do is to change with time to be relevant”.
She maintained that as much as there is a high rate of unemployment in the country today, there also exists job vacancies in many organisations for only qualified individuals.
Hammond attributed this development to lack of possession of employability skills on the part of jobseekers; a mismatch between demand for labour and the ability of applicants; lack of information on job existence; jobs concentrated in urban centres; outdated school curricula which lack entrepreneurship skills content to prepare graduates for self-employment, among several others.
She promised that the workshop would equip the participants with requisite technological-know-how, skills, comportment and confidence that would, in turn, make them irresistible to any employer of labour.
The Acting Commissioner explained that the State Government, through the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment as well as Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), recognised these challenges and provided a wide range of youth developmental initiatives to address the issue of unemployment and empower young graduates.
She listed some of the initiatives to include the Creation of five Job Registration/Labour Exchange Centres, one in each division of the State; Creation of Yaba ICT Hub; various Employability Training Programmes; Lagos Innovates; Access to Fund for entrepreneurs by LSETF; and many others.
The CEO of 1st CRT Management Services, Mrs. Folayemi Olaitan, said that the programme, Work Conference 2020 themed, “Rethinking Education and the Future of Work” is an initiative aimed at promoting employability and vocational skills for Nigerian Youths through Training, Job Fairs, Internship, Career Development and Leadership Skills.
She disclosed that the organisation could only accommodate 500 beneficiaries out of over 1000 applicants who registered for the programme, stressing that this shows the rate at which people, especially young graduates, are desirous of seeking careers or businesses for themselves.
Olaitan, however, called on well-meaning Nigerians and institutions to consider investing in human capacity development through collaborations with the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment.