Lagos restates commitment to end graduate unemployment
As part of efforts to build human capacity, boost Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), and end unemployment, 1000 finalists who participated in the “Ready Set Work,” (RSW) an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, are set to embark on internship with 70 business organisations in the country.
The successful candidates who were selected out of 1500 students after a 12-week rigorous training programme aimed at preparing Nigerian students for the world of work are to take up 1000 available space in the 70 partner organisations.
Speaking during the Internship and Business Fair, held at the Lagos State University (LASU), where the 1000 candidates were selected, the Special Adviser to the governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said the changing reality in the country is the dearth of jobs, especially in the public sector. He said the overall aim of the project is to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among young people and end graduate unemployment.
According to him, available statistics indicated that 97 per cent of available jobs in the country are in SMEs and the Lagos state government is therefore thinking ahead on how to position youths in the state for the world of work. He explained that the state government is trying to achieve this objective with the RSW programme where over 70 organisations are willing to take them as interns for the next six months.
He noted that though, some of the interns are going to be placed with some of the big organisations, most of them are going to SMEs with fund provided by the state government.
He said: “For us, it is to ensure that the average graduates in Lagos, regardless of the school you go to, whether Lagos State University, Lagos State Polytechnic, University of Lagos, you are ready for the world of work. And I dare say, that the graduates we are churning out, that went to this programme, are better than any graduates from any school in this country today.”
Bank-Olemoh boasted that any organisation that has the students as interns in their company would be better off for it, adding that the state is currently working on restructuring vocational education as new plan for vocational studies will be announced soon. In all our effort is to ensure students in the state have the best opportunity to succeed.
Vice Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, on his part stated that if other states could replicate the initiative, delivering dividends of governance would not be a difficult task.
He said: “Imagine what will happen when they unleash the 1500 students in the programme whose orientation has been totally changed, you will see the kind of difference that they would make. So you can multiple 1500 by 36 different states, and you will see the kind of difference we are talking about.”
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