Survey on job skills gaps out in January – FG

By The Citizen

The result of national jobs survey of skills gap for the country will be out by January ending in 2015.

Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the inaugural ‎meeting of Presidential Jobs Board inaugurated ‎in September by President Goodluck Jonathan, arose from its inaugural meeting on Friday,

presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo with majority of the members in attendance, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said the survey will help the country know the skills  gap sector by sector what it is required to fill that gap in the next five to 10 years.

‎He said that agenda of the meeting dwelled more on how to to fullfil the President’s aspiration to create three million jobs in one year.

According to Aganga, the meeting  identified a lot of quick wins and how they will go about implementing them and how they  will realize the goals of the board within the shortest possible time.

“Today’s meeting was about having the right governance structure in place, how we can have sustainability in the whole programme, that there will be no reversal in policy, and that the secretariate is properly staffed with the private and public sector.

“The sectorial leaders that are here are now submitting all major projects where there can be significant job creation and the sectors of course include ICT, housing, micro and medium enterprises,  infrastructure, professional skills and of course the urgency to deliver as quickly as possible.

“There will be a followed up meeting within the next three weeks where all these key decisions will be made and communicated to Nigerians.

“‎Given where I seat in government, everywhere I go there is jobs, many many jobs but the level of unemployment is high and the gap between jobs and unemployment is skills. So that is a critical factor and that is why there is a pillar dedicated to that. And that is why for the first time in this country we have begun a national job surveys of skills gap for the country. So that by sector we will know what the gap is, know what it is required to fill that gap.

“We are not just looking at the existing gaps today, we are looking at where the investments are going to, what we are looking at in the next five to ten years. For instance a lot of investments are going to automobile,  we have automobile engineers, how many will we need in the next five to ten years. A lot of investments is going to sugarcane to sugar do have the skills to do that? how many will we need in the next three, five, ten years. About N16 billion is going to petrochemicals, fertilizer, and methanol, we will need skilled players. A lot of investments is going to metals, iron ore and all that. Most of these positions at the moment in this country are not filled and if they are filled they are filled by foreigners. We do not have anything to ensure that our graduates coming out from the universities are very relevant to the economy today.

“So for the first time in this country we have embarked on that national survey  with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and that survey will be ready in January. That survey will be used by training institutions like Industrial Training  Fund (ITF) to ensure people are trained. But not just train but train to work immediately.

“In Brazil that is what they use, they train two million people a year and 90 per cent of them gets jobs within three months. So this is a fundamental part of the job of this board for example.

“For instance when we started automobile industry, we had to work with the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to make sure our universities have the right curriculum for our automotive engineers and today four universities have now started doing that. So this is training for the future. So the survey will be used by the private sector also because of the gap we have in the country job creation initiative, it is important that the private sector also key into it.

“So we will be encouraging the private sector to set up skills training institutions, let them compete with government, let the employers employ the best that way you will get the best. So there is guidelines set up to make sure that the private sector is able to key in. So for me I’m existed about what is about to happen and that report will be ready by the end of January 2015,” Aganga stated.

A member of the board from the private sector, Tony Elumelu, on his part said the private sector was committed in making the aspiration of President Jonathan a reality.

“Job creation is very important to this government; it’s very important to the private sector, that is why we are all committed to it and that is why as the minister of trade and investment has said, we are having another meeting in two or three weeks time. We will not be sacrificing or devoting this more time to a project that we did not believe in. We believe in dignity of labour. We think that Nigerians deserve to be employed and we are happy that we are working with the Federal Government led by the president, the vice president, the minister of trade and investment and his team, making sure that this comes through.

“We believe that we will deliver on this and Nigerians will be happy for it at the end of the day”, he said.