Friday, November 18, 2011

Beyond all the #Unemployment Statistics…

On November 16th, the Guardian newspaper Nigeria and The Guardian UK coincidentally published the current unemployment figures in Nigeria and Britain, respectively.  The statistics are overwhelming.

The Guardian Nigeria reports:
National Bureau of Statistics yesterday said the rate of unemployment and inflation is on the rise in the country…”
According to NBS, unemployment rate in Nigeria increased to 23.9% during the first half of the year. In addition to the already daunting statistics of over 43million unemployed youth, an additional 1.8million people joined the long queue.

The Bureau attributed the rise in the ranks of the nation’s unemployed to fresh entrants to the job market and worker layoffs across all sectors of the economy in the course of the year.”
Meanwhile, in the UK, the current statistics postulates that jobless youth between 16 to 24years old is now at 1.02million.

The Guardian UK reports:
The Office for National Statistics said that there were a total 2.62 million unemployed people in the quarter, the highest total since 1994. That left the unemployment rate at a bigger than expected 8.3%, the highest since 1996.
By the end of the next semester, more young people will be churned out of academic institutions, with “high hopes” of employment opportunities. Or maybe not.

Someone asked on a social media network recently, “Is 2012 the year of entrepreneur?” That won’t happen, unless we all make it happen- government and existing companies provide friendly environment for budding entrepreneurs.

So beyond the overwhelming statistics of unemployment at its peak in different countries across the world, how can we tackle the challenge?

School proprietors, government leaders, Alumni network and other stakeholders should put resources together to introduce “High school Seed Grant” for fresh High School Graduates to build their business acumen before they venture into universities.

University-age youth should pursue their passion.  Challenge yourself to learn more than you would a normal day at school. Who knows, your passion eventually might be what you'll earn your livelihood and help others secure theirs through employment opportunities you create.

I think it is weird for Employers to always complain there are no employable skills for their organizations. That is a cheap excuse. What is their Human Resource department for if not to train new job entrants? They should start seeing it as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities, if it will make them feel better about investing in youth.

There is the challenge of age and experience discrimination for new job entrants. From the part of the world where I come from, employers sometimes ask for three to five years experience from job applicants. Now, if you are a new graduate, this might sound unfair. But here is a realistic way to overcome that- Youth Volunteer!

Imagine if you start volunteering or interning in professional organizations from your first year in college, by the time you are graduating in 4-5years, you will have the required job experience employers often request. But beware of volunteer fatigue and situations where potential employers will want you to keep volunteering or keep you at internship level after you graduate just because they want cheap labor!

The jobless statistics are not going away. To reverse the current trend, we need a dramatic overhaul of the current approach.

No comments: