School na scam!

The above statement is not just a popular mantra people chant to say something. It is borne out of the desperation and frustration of millions of unemployed and underemployed youths out there, grappling with straws to make a living.

The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is now 33.3%, according to a report published by the National Bureau of Statistics. According to Bloomberg, this puts Nigeria second to Namibia, which still leads the list with 33.4%. One-third of Nigeria’s 69.7 million-strong labour force are either unemployed, whilst another 15.9 million are underemployed.

The unemployment rate in Nigeria has more than quadrupled over the last five years due to the worsening economic disorders of the country. Nigeria is the fastest growing economy in Africa, and it has withstood two recessions, which has exacerbated the unemployed lot in the country. Over 60% of Nigeria’s working-age population is younger than 34. However, youth unemployment in the fourth quarter of 2020 was 53.4 per cent for those aged 15 to 24 and 37.2 per cent for those aged 25 to 34. Women were unemployed at a rate of 35.2 per cent, while men were unemployed at a rate of 31.8 per cent.

However, unemployment is not the only problem of Nigeria; “unemployability” is the real problem. For every 600000 graduates churned out by academic institutions annually, only about 10% are employable.

Against this backdrop, Fadekemi Bakare organised a “Get a Job Bootcamp” to redress the dismal unemployment rate in his community and equip young graduates with employability skills. 33-year-old Fadekemi is a Human Resources personnel based in Lagos passionate about helping people in his community; he also partnered with recruiting firms to interview participants.

Fadekemi hosted the Bootcamp virtually via zoom, and it entailed the following: 

  •         Career Development session
  •         How to write a competitive Curriculum Vitae
  •         How to write a cover letter
  • An interactive Q/A session where the participants asked questions and were given informed answers
  • A comment and testimonies session where participants shared their experiences

In the project, 98% of under-employed and unemployed graduates participated in the Bootcamp and got trained with 21st-century employability skills. The participants were all trained on how to write a perfect CV and cover letter, and 5% of them had their CV reviewed to align with their desired career ambitions. The crux of the Bootcamp was when 2% of the participants were called up for an interview and afterwards became gainfully employed.

Fadekemi saw a menace in his community and took action to redress it. What action are you taking against the problems you see in your community?

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