The Oodua Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture has said it has set machinery in place to address the growing level of unemployment among youths in the southwest states so as to boost the economic growth of the region.
The President of the group, Chief Kola Akosile disclosed this while speaking at a one-day stakeholders summit with the theme, ‘Post Covid-19 rethinking Talents: Rewiring the Education to Employment.’
The event by the leader of the organised private sector in the region is in partnership with the West Africa Vocational Education (WAVE) and had in attendance the employers, educators and policymakers.
Atosile explained that the group was worried about the number of graduates being churned out by the universities yearly with no corresponding jobs hence the summit with the sole aim of identifying the gaps and proffering actionable solutions.
He said, ” We have observed this ugly trend of unemployment among youths in the region and we have decided to end this with the engagement with relevant stakeholders.
” Our youth must know that formal education cannot earn them these jobs acquiring the necessary skills because the employers need people to employ but with one specialized skill or the other.”
Speaking, the representative of WAVE, Ruth David noted that was a need for youths to aside their certificate they obtained from the universities and place more emphasis on acquiring skills that the employers needs.
To address this, she added that the three stakeholders; educators, companies and the government must be ready to strike a balance in ensuring that youths take up available jobs in the society.
The Ekiti State Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Muyiwa Olumilua said the government would continue to make policies that will give enabling environment for the organisation to employ teeming unemployed youths in the state.
He canvassed the rejigging of the nation’s education curriculum where the premium will be placed on the acquisition of skills right from the secondary school level for youths to be employers of labour rather waiting for the unavailable white-collar jobs.
“The truth is government alone cannot employ all our youths, the mentality must change. Most importantly, we have to look at our educational curriculum, re-engineered it for people to get the right skills to change the trend of unemployment in our society,” Olumilua said.
On his part, the Director-General of Odua Chambers of commerce, Mr David Awotipe said the summit would be replicated in other southwest states of Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Osun in a bid to collate views from the critical stakeholders.