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Experts list paths to bridging talent gap as Pan Atlantic University holds career fair


Pan Atlantic University

The task of bridging the talent gap of young graduates involves government, policy makers, universities, research institutions and personal effort of students themselves, a group of experts has said. 

The experts argued that graduates are easily employable if they can show their potentials, which involve articulating what they have learnt through mentoring. 
Speaking at the maiden career fair of the Pan Atlantic University (PAU), in Lagos, the guest speaker and Human Resource Director, Nigerian Bottling Company, Olumide Sholanke stressed the need for universities to play a lead role in career counselling and create friendly student environment where students would be at liberty to prepare themselves to lead industries at younger age.

Sholanke who spoke on the theme: ‘Industry meets talent: bridging the gap’, explained how his organisation has helped in bridging talent gap of undergraduates through internships and management trainee programmes for top management positions.

Following the complaints by most organisations that some graduates are unfit for employment, Sholanke said: “Everybody has a role to play. The universities should help increase the self-awareness on the students. The biggest challenge we face when we engage millennials is the lack of self-awareness. There is ambition, there is creativity but a lot of them can also do better on self-awareness. But I’ve come to realise that self-awareness is not related to how old you are but how you can actually accelerate and have younger people in senior positions earlier.”

Speaking with The Guardian, Dean, School of Media and Communication, Ikechukwu Obiaya noted that for the old media to continue to remain relevant and stay in business, there is need for it to know what the world wants.  

He added that the greatest challenge for the media is hinged on ethics and economics. “The news is more or less what you can pay for and even if people are not paying for it, they tend to report news from a biased perspective.

“What the media need to do is to take a step back and reinvent itself to remain relevant because old models are no longer adequate, that is not to say that the content is useless. It is just perhaps the need to change the way we present it. These days for instance, the average person is impatient, the audience is mobile to get updates as soon as possible and if they do not get it, when they want it, they go elsewhere.”

He also spoke on what PAU is doing to groom its students for jobs as soon as they graduate from the university. His words: “It is one thing to learn theory in the abstract and another thing to learn in a confined or particular structure. A lot of challenges that we have tried to deal with so that we don’t train our students outside of what the industry requires, we try to ensure we are in tune of what it requires and have a close chain with the industry. We bring the industry to our class rooms, send the students on internship, spend time doing consultancy with the industry and get the support of the industry too.”

With about 47 firms including The Guardian that participated at the fair, the Careers and Internship Manager, Nkiru Ukachukwu, said the fair would give students the opportunity to learn more about potential employers and the opportunities available. 

She said that it would also allow companies to enable recruiters to zero in on exceptional candidates quickly rather than using the scatter-shot approach of general advertising.

She added that the university aims at nurturing individuals who are professionally competent, creative and enterprising, thus acts as positive agents of change in service to society.

At The Guardian’s stand, some of the students who visited were taken on the rudiments of media job and how they can become successful and attain job security once they can deliver effectively.

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Pan Atlantic University

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