By Kazeem Akande
Lagos – Sen.Oluremi Tinubu on Saturday urged graduates to acquire the right skills and competencies required to enhance their employability in the labour market.
Tinubu gave the advice in Lagos while speaking at the orientation programme for interns under the Work Experience Programme (WEP) she organised for graduates in her Lagos Central constituency.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 260 graduates across the constituency were captured in the internship programme.
The senator said many graduates had remained unemployed because they lacked the right skills and competencies to be absorbed in the labour market.
According to her, employers are looking beyond degree holders in today’s dynamic world for graduates with the skills that match available job responsibilities .
She listed communication skills, leadership skills, interactive skills, analytical skills and IT proficiency among the major requirements by today’s employers, urging graduates to improve themselves.
”We always say there is rise in unemployment rate ,that graduates left school for so long and they are still at home.
”But the reality is that the jobs are not there; and many graduates do not have the skills and competencies to compete and pick up the few jobs.
”So, our young people must know that to get a job, they have to be ready. They need to acquire the right skills.
”Some of our graduates browse so much that they do not know how to work on a team because the smart phone has become their only friend.
”Yes, we are in a digital economy; smart phone is good, I use it, so does everybody. But that does not mean they should not engage other people and strive to acquire things that could get them the scarce jobs,” she said.
Tinubu said she conceived the idea of WEP to equip graduates with relevant skills to enhance their employability in the labour market and make them have practical work experience.
She said the interns would undergo training under the programme for one month in government and private establishments including Bank of Industry and KPMG.
The senator said she would give each of the interns N40,000 at the end of the programme.
Tinubu promised to sustain the programme, being irrevocably committed to the wellbeing and welfare of the people of her constituency.
Mr Wahab Alawiye-King , one of the facilitators at the programme, said apart from acquiring certain employability skills, graduates needed self-confidence to succeed in the job market.
Alawiye-King, Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB), therefore urged graduates to improve their confidence level for success.
Alhaji Tajudeen Olusi, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos Senatorial Zone, commended Tinubu for programme, saying it would impact positively on the lives of the people.
A participant, Miss Tope Adeola, also commended Tinubu for the programme, saying it would go a long way to uplift graduates in the area.