R @ A PAPER PRESENTED AT THE HOODING CEREMONY OF COLLEGE OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, (CST) COVENANT UNIVERSITY, OTA. BY MR. ROWLAND E. ABONTA (FNIVS), SECOND VICE PRESIDENT – NIGERIAN INSTITUTION OF ESTATE SURVEYORS & VALUERS ON 26TH JUNE, 2014 TOPIC:- “ LIFE AFTER GRADUATION, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS IN THE GLOBAL LABOUR MARKET” INTRODUCTION. Graduation from a University at the first degree level is a very important stage in the life of every youth that have far reaching effect in his/her future. This stage comes with its attendant pressure on decision making. The youth at graduation has quite a lot of decisions to make that will help to shape his his/her future in life. such decisions will include but not limited to; Choice of Career. Whether to go for a further studies or not. Where to be based (City or Town). When , Who and How to Marry. How to handle parental pressures, etc. CHALLEGES: The young graduate also has a lot of challenges to contend with in the present world. These include:1) PAUCITY OF EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES; Statistics has it that about 5.3 Million Nigerian Youths are unemployed. About 1.8 Million Youths graduate annually from the Tertiary Institutions From the inception of the Goodluck Administration in Nigeria to date, only 1.60 Million Jobs have been created. About 70% of all major Industries in Nigeria are closed down from Operations.(Auto-Industry, Textiles, etc). About 20% out of the 30% that is Operating, Operate at below 50% Capacity. The episode of the Nigerian Immigration Services Employment exercise posted over 650,000 Youths participation in only One City (Abuja) which confirmed the magnitude of unemployment problem in the country. Annual intake of employees into Public Service has dropped beyond average over the years while new entrants into the Labor market has continued to grow astronomically. In summary, the Problem of Unemployment in Nigeria is aided by absolute lack of data, poor planning and the endemic problem of corruption in Nigeria. 2) LACK OF QUALITY & RELEVANT EDUCATION $ TRAINING: This particular Challenge is very prominent with the Nigerian Youth due to; Low standard of education. Incessant strike actions by both workers and Lecturers in the Universities that results in frustration of the youth and compromised standards . Lack of alignment between our education system and the needs of employers create a disconnect between the supply and demand for graduate Labor. 3) LACK OF SKILL AND EXPERIENCE: This also is very peculiar with the developing nations such as Nigeria. There is a total disconnect between the Universities and Commerce/ industries which are the employers of Labor, which requirements are supposed to influence the undergraduate Curriculum and practical training experiences thereby prepare them for the Labor Market after graduation. In the developed economies, there are great employment opportunities available to students/undergraduates that expose them to skills and experience at the work place before graduation which is lacking in Nigeria. The original intentions of the supervised Industrial Training Work Experience Scheme(SIWES) and National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) programs have been Compromised by lack of Planning, Supervision and Corruption. The importance of these Schemes and the need for other deliberate programs to expose our Students to the labor market before graduation cannot be over emphasized. We will observe that during recession, youths are the last to be employed (due to lack of experience) and the first to be fired on the basis of last in and first out principle. 4) CORRUPTION: Corruption is a common problem in Nigeria that affects all sectors of the economy. Corruption can be described as an abuse of office or position for private gains characterized by misappropriation of public funds or funds belonging to others. (i) Job placement in Nigeria is also affected by corrupt practices both in the public and private sectors. (ii) In our nation today, whom you know and how much you can pay goes a long way to determine your chances of securing employment. (iii) This has negatively affected majority of our youths who has no body in authority nor can afford to pay, in their search for employment. 5) GLOBALIZATION; Globalization itself is a great challenge to the youths in developing nations like Nigeria. Globalization, which is a new economic order is propelled by knowledge and technological advancement which are scarcely available in Nigeria. Globalization brings about rapid expansion of markets across national boundaries with the attendant socio-political effects which has grave implications for developing nations like ours. A typical example of the effects of globalizations is that it makes developing nations dumping ground for finished products thereby killing local industries and increasing the rate of unemployment, at least at the short run. • PROSPECTS: A combination of the current efforts by Nigerian Government to diversify the economy and reduce over dependence on the oil and gas sector, and the shortage of skilled labor creates career opportunities for highly trained or trainable graduates; The following career prospects and opportunities can be considered; 1) ACCOUNTING & FINANCE: Highly competitive Sector. Prestigious and well paid. Has preference for young graduates. Preferred Sector by Job Seekers. 2) AGRICULTUURE: Availability of large expanse of arable land. Good Climate Condition, fertile soil and rich water resources. Potentiality for engaging huge skilled and unskilled labor. 3) AUTOMATIVE INDUSTRY: it is a multi-functional industry with various fields and great opportunities including; Manufacturing. Assembling. Sales. Maintenance. Current Government policy aimed at refinancing and protecting the industry will revive the comatose industry and throw up more Jobs. 4) CONSTRUCTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE: This is one of the most vibrant sectors of the Nigerian economy with great employment opportunities for young graduates. Real Estate Development. Provision of Infrastrutures; • Road Construction. • Rail ways. • Airports. • Sea ports. • Power Generation & Transmission, etc. • Tourism/Leisure Facilities. 5) ENGINEERING: This field has great opportunities but also requires hands-on experience and skills. Graduates in the Field of Engineering should go beyond the academic qualification to be involved in voluntary works and internship which are common ways of acquiring skills and experience 6) OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY: The industry is regarded as the backbone of the Nigerian economy with wide range career opportunities for young graduates. It offers the most attractive pay and welfare benefits which attracts many graduates. It offers employment opportunities for almost all fields of endeavor but the field of engineering and humanities are most favored. Due to high competitiveness of job opportunities in the sector, young graduates are better placed if they acquire additional skills/experience through higher specialized education or internship in small or medium sized companies. 7) HEALTH AND MEDICAL CARE SECTOR: This sector is a specialized sector that deals with human life and has great potentials for future development . The career opportunities in this sector are restricted to specialized graduates such as Doctors, Nurses, Researchers and Pharmacists with support services of a few others. There are still high demand for these professionals in Nigeria today at Federal and various state levels. 8) ICT AND E-COMMERCE: This is a new but rapidly growing sector in Nigeria with great potentials for Job opportunities and services. The youths particularly graduates dominate the labor market in this sector due to its high demanding skills. The new economic order focuses on internet banking and e- commerce which has created more career opportunities in this sector. The sector provides services to almost all the other sectors of the economy including the oil industry. The sector currently engages over 30% of youths employed in Nigeria. 9) LOGISTICS: It is a new emerging sector in Nigeria with great potentials for the future. It offers great opportunities for self employment. The Key factors here include; • Ability to work under pressure. • An eye for details. • And a high degree of Flexibility. 10) SMALL & MEDIUM ENTERPRISES(SMES) This is one area, the youths easily ignore because of the low paying capacity. But the SMEs offer young graduates the opportunity of developing business skills. They also provide the youth with trainings in professionalism for future professional practice. Example of SMEs will include what is commonly known as “One Man Businesses or privately owned businesses such as Professional Consultancy Practice Offices”. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1) As a matter of urgency, government at all levels should commence immediate registration of unemployed graduates in various urban centres and local governments to provide data planning. 2) Youth employment should be given a top priority by government in its economic development plans as a deliberate policy towards checking youths restiveness and insecurity in the country. 3) Graduates should focus on the option of engaging in self employment through voluntary services, internship and skill acquisition rather than wait for salary paid employment that may never come. CONCLUSION: It is obvious that the problem of unemployment among graduates is huge and has the potentials of growing unabatedly in the foreseeable future, but well trained graduates have the capacity of overcoming the challenges through skills acquisition and self employment. REFERENCE: 1) Publication of National Association of Students Employment Services (2013). 2) “A better future for young people”. A publication of the International Labor office on the 2012 International year of co-operatives. 3) “Access to Employment”. UNESCO Publication (2006). 4) “Challenges Facing Nigeria Youths in Globalised World”. (Bolton M. and Anayo K. 2007).