Employability measures and enhancing young adults in the labour market: Insights from the University of Lagos, Nigeria

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Yinusa, O.
Ohiani, A.
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Journal of African Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Skills Development (JAEESD)
Nigerian higher education has not been adequately producing graduates with the required knowledge, skills and attitude (KSA) necessary to function effectively in the labour market. This has further added pressure on higher institutions to focus more attention on the improvement in employability of young graduates. Hence, the paper seeks to examine employability measures at higher education that could enhance young adults for the 21 st century world of work. Six research questions were raised and answered using focus group discussions and interviews with stakeholders in the higher education institution with reference to the University of Lagos, Nigeria. A desk review method was employed to gather secondary data for the discussion of the following concepts: employability; employability at higher education and labour market level; policies and strategies for employability in Nigeria; and practices and actions that support employability of students and graduates in higher education in Nigeria. Findings reveal that employability measures that influence policies in higher education are: 1) directives by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for the incorporation of entrepreneurship education in the university education curriculum; 2) the Nigerian Labour Act regulations on recruitment of young persons; 3) the National Policy on Education (NPE); and 4) the National Employment Policy of Nigeria (2002), outlined employability agenda in higher education. In the instance of the University of Lagos, Nigeria, employability measures put in place include: job placement programmes through the counselling units; entrepreneurial skills training for students through the entrepreneurship and skills development centre; resuscitation of graduate assistantship programmes; students’ industrial work experience; teaching practice programmes; and the internship programme. However, in respect of curriculum delivery, it is revealed that it tends towards the theoretical rather than the practical approach to deliver a better programme implementation, which is not the best in terms of inclusivity and fair connection with the labour market. Nationally, there is a great challenge in the disparity between employers’ and graduates’ views on employability and incorrect implementation of policies and programmes. It is recommended, therefore, that there is a need for relevance in programme implementation, domestication of the CareerEdge Model, and the correct practical approaches to ensure that national policies and university learning experiences support graduates’ transition towards the labour market.
Scholarly article
Yinusa, Y. O., & Adeku, O. (2021). Employability measures and enhancing young adults in the labour market: Insights from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Journal of African Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Skills Development (JAEESD), 1, 63-75