Dreams are what make the vicissitudes of life bearable. Dreams for a better life, spouse, job, education – name it – are the lubricants that smoothen out the rough edges of the bitter reality life is, giving us hope for tomorrow. When dreams are shattered, hope is gone.

However, in a country that boasts of 33.4% unemployment rate, it is difficult to envisage a dream and bring it to fruition. The oversaturation of the Nigerian labour market is a menace that keeps growing unattended by the powers that be. Despite the fact that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and has one of the world’s largest youth populations, with 211,400,708 members, statistics show a concerning increase in the unemployment rate. Nigeria is now second to Namibia which still leads the list with 33.4%, according to Bloomberg. One-third of the 69.7 million-strong labour force of Nigeria are either unemployed, whilst another 15.9 million are underemployed.

This unemployment problem foreshadows a bleak future for millions of angry, frustrated, desperate, and delinquent Nigerian youths. To make matters worse, every year, Nigerian universities produce millions of graduates who enter the jobless market. 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 really employable.

It is against this backdrop that Oghenekevwe Jefia organised a project titled “Undergraduate to Dream Job” under the DO-Take Action umbrella, to redress the dismal unemployment rate in his community and equip young graduates with employability skills. 21-year-old Oghenekevwe is a Linguistics graduate from the University of Benin. She is passionate about driving Social Impact, Entrepreneurship as a means for African Development.

 Oghenekevwe hosted the project virtually via zoom, and it entailed the following: 

  • Keynote presentations on Undergraduate to Dream Job, Employability skills that Undergraduates can gain to position themselves for their dream job, Volunteering/Interning to gain work experience and Linkedin Optimization
  • Free CV review and revamp,
  • Resources on websites to carry out an online job search,
  • Resource on LinkedIn Optimisation for Visibility and Job search.
  • An interactive Q/A session where the participants asked questions and were given informed answers

In the course of the project, 30% of participants had their CVs reviewed. The participants were all trained on how to write a perfect CV and cover letter, and LinkedIn Optimisation for Job Search. 20% of participants who indicated not having a CV were guided to create theirs; in total 50% of participants have their perfect CV. The crux of the project was when four participants gained a direct mentorship with one of the guest speakers working at Cisco and were given access to resources on how to get their CCNA network certificates for career advancement.

Oghenekevwe 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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