By Ajibola Abayomi,
On Wednesday in Lagos, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) launched a unique National Employability Skills And Internship Programme (NESDIP).
According to the institution, the course was designed to cover the missing links between the job seekers and employers of labour, and to also improve those seeking to sharpen their academic and professional skills.
Professor Joy Eyisi, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) who represented the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Professor Abdulla Adamu, while launching the scheme enjoined Nigerians to take the advantage of it to re-launch their careers.
She said the NOUN was not unmindful of the shortfalls in the universities curriculum which have made graduates to be described as half baked.
The Professor however stated that NOUN graduates over the years have been excelling in their chosen careers and had proved that they were not pushed over in the labour market, hence the need to assist those who wanted to further improve their skills.
“Some have said the jobs are there but the graduates of nowadays are not competent enough, but for us at NOUN, we are working with the private institutions to ensure that we equip every willing Nigerians with needed skills and mentality to make the difference.
“Not just Nigeria all over the world, NOUN has been acknowledged as a renowned institution” she said.
Corroborating the position of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Grace Jokthan, the Director, NOUN Human Resources said the institution was out to add value and to instill confidence in the Nigerian youths to further make them adapt and make good use of the economic advantages around them.
She said the scheme was aimed at combating unemployment and to redefine the nation’s economy by empowering job seekers and to be employers of labour with necessary skills to make impact.
The Director explained that, the three months skill acquisition programme is open to Nigerians irrespective of age and academic status.
She hinted that the programme would be implemented in all the centers of NOUN across the country.
Speaking, one of the partners of NOUN, Mr Peter Ayim, a member of the Nigerian Youth Chamber of Commerce assured those that enrolled for the course would be enlisted as interns with both local and international agencies with the intention of getting them good jobs.
In a related development, following the introduction of the scheme, the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, through the Permanent Secretary, Mr Adesola Olusade has pledged a slot for the institution in the National Youth Job Creation Committee.
The committee according to Mr Olusade while delivering a key note of address at the event is an Inter-Ministerial Committee to foster collaboration on youth employment in Nigeria.
He said: “The National Open University is invited to have a representative on the Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Ministry in order to properly align objectives and strength collaboration on this project for the benefits of the youth.”