As the rising number of unemployed school leavers and graduates of tertiary institution entering the labour market in Nigeria is increasing, governments at all levels, private individuals and corporations are proffering suggestions to mitigate this challenge.
The Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports earlier this year forecast that the number of young Nigerians that will be enrolling for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) would rise to staggering 300,000 annually.
To arrest the situation before it gets out of hand, the Osun State government in furtherance of measures to create different platforms for youth employment in the state, Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday launched a job creation centre called ‘O-Job Centre’ in the state capital.
At the launch of the Osun State Job Centre (O-Job), Aregbesola stated that his administration has taken job creation to a greater height with the establishment of the job centre where government will not need to employ workers directly, but create a situation where finding jobs will become easy for the unemployed and better jobs for the youths.
Emphasising that there will be no going back in his government’s human development policies as he launched the O-Job Centre, he stated that the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme O-YES policy had brought great micro-economic impact on the state with N200 million monthly allowance given to the youth under the scheme.
According to the governor, “This centre will, among other things, provide an interface between applicants and employers. It will do this by maintaining a database of applicants, which will be made available to employers who need to recruit.
It will also keep record of job vacancies, which applicants can consult. “We have found out that information on job vacancies is the bane of many job applicants, who though may be qualified, but suffer the misfortune of not knowing where his or her services are needed.
“Secondly, it will help applicants on how to seek for jobs by helping them on CV writing and preparing them for interviews. Studies have shown this is where many good and qualified candidates fail.
“Many applicants, for instance, do not know the difference between a resume and a CV. Many also do not know the correct information an employer is looking for or what detail might annoy him or her.
“Beyond these, the centre will be conducting seminars, trainings and career counseling for youths, school,” he said.
Addressing guest at the event which held at the state capital in Osogbo, the governor explained that the job centre will complement the various channels for gainful employment that are already working for the people of the state.
Aregbesola added that the job centre is basically to provide credible link between job seekers and employers of labour.
He added that the online job portal is not for employment into the state service, but as a link between job seekers and employers.
The governor, who stated that creation of the O Yes job agency and employment had given jobs to thousands of the state indigenes, said it was in fulfillment of his mandate to the people several months before the election tagged, “My Pact With People Of Osun State”.
“I make bold to state that no state government in Nigeria has achieved the volume of jobs Osun has given its people. Through similar effort Osun recorded the least unemployment ratio of 30%, crime has fallen to the lowest and the GDP is the 7th in the country,” he added.
Announcing a caveat for the job centre, Aregbesola announced that the job centre was not for secondary school certificate holders but for job seekers with Ordinary National Diploma, HND, degree holders and above.
He urged qualified youths in the state to take advantage of the platform to meet employers.
“It is not to employ people in government jobs. We will look for job within the state, outside, anywhere in the world. Prepare you for gainful employment, interface applicants with employers, it will organise job seminars.”
Ms. Mobolaji Akande, Coordinator of the centre, said, “The Osun Job Centre is state government funded programme and its services are provided at no cost to the users of its facilities.”
“It will serve as an intermediary between job seekers and employers with the goal of matching the company’s needs and requirements with a job seeker’s skill, experience and interests.”
She announced that the centre has 31 desk offices located across the state local government secretariats and the North East office.
Akande, who is a former Commissioner for Human Resources and Capacity Building, commended Aregbesola for the initiative, saying that other government should also make life worth living for their country.
The establishment of the Osun Job Center (O-JOBS) meant to serve the interests of job seekers and employers of labour at no cost are the initiative of the administration of Aregbesola to meet the third of its Six-Point Integral Action Plan: Banish Unemployment (Create work and wealth).
The Job Center has been established as a state government funded one-stop employment support service. The Osun Job Center has 31 desk offices located at each of the state’s 30 local government secretariats and Ife North East Office to help facilitate the goal of lowering unemployment within the State.
Akande explained further: “For your CV to be recommended for any job posted with Osun Job Centre, you will need an account. When a job is posted matching your skill-set, your saved CV and if required, your cover letter will be made available to the company posting the job.”
She added: “Based on their CV search, a company can invite you to an interview for a job through Osun Job Centre.”
Warning job seekers and employers of labour to be wary of scammers, Akande advised: “Osun Job Centre will never send an email requesting for your account username or password, ask you to transfer money to provide employment support services to you, personal details, bank account details or any other information that is not important to the job posting process.”
Services offered by the centre include: employability skills training to enhance the employability and entrepreneurship of participants, career counseling to help explore career opportunities to make informed employment and education choices and job fairs to connect job seekers to employers.
In an exclusive interview with Independent, Mr. Olatunji Adeyemo, Head Career Counseling, explained that the mandate of his unit is to identify challenges confronting job seekers, discover their marketable skills, and probe into a new direction for a job seeker considering his or her peculiarities, pre-interview and post-interview interactions to determine weaknesses and strength.