Dr Oby Ezekwesili yesterday, said the reason why most graduates in the country remain unemployed is ‘because majority of them study courses that are in low demand in the labour market.’
The former Minister of Education in the Obasanjo administration and immediate past vice-president (Africa) of the World Bank, stated this at a programme titled ‘How to Build a World-Class Career,’ organised by The Baptising Church (TBC), in Abuja where she was a guest speaker.
“So, why do employers often turn down applicants? Because of lack of competence,” she said. “We found out that the courses that most Nigerian students study are not what we need at the labour market; we call them warehouse courses.
“So, instead of the market accepting them, it rejects them, so they go back to the warehouse.”
Oby, as she is fondly referred to, recalled with nostalgia her tenure as Minister of Education when she introduced a scheme called Tracking Assets for Progress (TAP) – a programme designed to fully utilise products coming out of higher institutions.
“You know, the university or polytechnic is a manufacturing plant; so, we introduced TAP to track where the finished products were going.
“When they graduate, they are finished products, and so you put a label on them called certificates.
“When a product is rejected in the market, it is usually because it does not meet consumers’ needs.”
The former minister concluded that for an individual to attain greatness, such must be well-trained, versatile, and an integrity-keeper.