Lagos, Nigeria – Despite challenges of high youth unemployment rates in the country, Nigerians especially the young people have been urged to embrace attitudinal change and modern thinking to create as well as harness opportunities for themselves without waiting for government’s solutions to provide jobs.
Speaking on the theme: ‘’Positioning for Value Proposition’’, at the 2023 Employability Fair, an event organised by the JCI Lagos Metropolitan, a Lagos-based and the pioneering chapter of the JCI in Nigeria, to mark this year’s Worker’s Day, panelists urged Nigerian youths to embrace a paradigm shift in their quest to job-seeking.
The 2023 Chapter President of the Doyen, JCI Lagos Metropolitan, Mrs. Busayo Adegoke during the programme held at the Olutayo Aderinokun Memorial Hall, University of Lagos, Akoka stated that the Fair and its theme aligned with the prevailing realities of the youths in a cosmopolitan city like Lagos where despite the state’s lowest unemployment rate of 7.6% when compared with neighbouring states like Oyo [8.8%] and Ogun [9.9%] respectively, just below 10 per cent, the unemployment rate can be regarded to be relatively low.
However, with no unemployment benefits, people within this circle of employment are streamlined along the formal economy, paying taxes, or alternatively those who are forced to work illegally in the informal sector.
According to Adegoke, 40% of the workforce are employed in informal jobs such as waste recycling [such as the Olusosun landfill site], car-washing and street vending. These jobs are often dangerous, poorly paid and unregulated and mostly considered exclusive areas for uneducated, largely unskilled and the bottom of the pyramid unemployed citizenry of the state.
However, in a state with huge proclivity for high crime rate, especially those involving age-long menaces including drugs, vandalism and theft, corruption, bribery, assault and armed robbery, and of course the most dreaded of them all in recent times, kidnapping for financial inducements, these variety of unskilled jobs have helped in stemming the tides of unemployment and consequently reduced the high crime rates attractions and vulnerabilities cross the state.
In his keynote presentation, Mr. Olawale Bakare, Regional Manager [Sales], South-South, LaFarge who doubles as the immediate past National President of the JCI Nigeria dwelt on the imperativity of knowledge of self, vision, talents, creativity, adaptability, dynamism and leveraging technology in this age as components that drives career goals faster in this age. He dwelt copiously on his personal experience based on his transition from a trained legal professional to evolving into a creative sales and marketing executive where he has been able to make his career mark competitively and relevance.
He said: ‘’It’s no doubt important to be academically educated in this age, but accessing the limited opportunities in the work space which is also competitive requires much more than academic qualifications if one intends to be above board.’’ To imagine that I studied Law as a course of study both as an undergraduate [LL.B] and went ahead to pursue a post graduate degree [LL.M]. I even went ahead and worked briefly in one of the most reputable law firms in Nigeria, Babalakin & Co Law Firm. But, I have since transformed into a Sales executive and that is where I have built a professional career over time, Bakare asserted.
The programme, with panelists from diverse industry top echelons within the human resources, talents hunt and employment activation community was aimed to shape minds, promote talents as well as promote progressive frontiers for entrepreneurship as job providers rather than job-seekers. The Fair featured Mr. Foluso Aribisala, Chief Executive Officer of Workforce, Mr. OreOluwa Boboye, Chief Executive Officer of Jobberman, Mrs. Titi Taiwo, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Terawork, Mr. Mike Adekambi, Lead Consultant, Eden Care and Resourcing Limited and Mr. Ayodeji Faleto, Founder, Careers and Business Everything [CABE].
Other speakers shared stories of innovative case studies and experiences leading up to their current positions in life and for which they were able to build the various human resources organisations that are creating new jobs opportunities and driving positive change across industries that are shaking up traditional business models and introducing fresh ideas and approaches in human resources, talents management where they are not only generating jobs but also addressing some of society’s most pressing challenges.
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In his own brief remark, a Past President of the JCI Lagos Metropolitan and Chief Strategy Officer of RZKG Mr. Adebayo Adeoshun also encouraged the participants to focus inward especially in the areas of their individual skills and talents and for which they derive passion and fulfillment as those are often neglected pointers to the essence of their career calling and personal self-fulfillment citing personal stories of Kelechi Amadi-Obi and Toyin Sokefun professionally known as TY Bello in the photography space in Nigeria as well as several others across related fields.
The summit provided a special session handled by Ayodeji Faleto, Founder, Careers and Business Everything [CABE] where he dealt extensively with creative approaches to writing wining resumes and cover letters for both advertised and unadvertised jobs. The summit was consequently rounded up with an On-Site interview and recruitment sessions by the staff of the major human resources, talents hunt and recruitment organisations including Workforce, Jobberman, Terawork, and Eden Care and Resourcing Limited respectively for the job hunting participants that graced the summit.
Team Lead for the 2023 Employability Summit, Ifeoluwa Ayodele thanked the speakers and panelists for their support in ensuring the success of the project while soliciting for future sustenance of the collaboration towards addressing the age-long challenge of job-hunting and self fulfilment.
The event was also graced by guests who included Mr. Adeyanju Adeonipekun, 2023 General Legal Counsel, JCI Nigeria, Mrs. Wunmi Akinwande, Mr. Deji Akinwande, Mr. Siji Oyebolu – all past presidents of JCI Lagos Metropolitan, Mrs. Oyinda Ahmed, 2023 President, JCI Victoria Island, Mr. Idris Soetan, Mr. Shehu Ishola, Mr. Abiodun Francis, Mr. John Fedejola, as well as young Nigerians across other walks of life across the special needs areas of the employment focus of the project.
JCI Lagos Metropolitan is the pioneering chapter of the JCI Nigeria. Better known as The Doyen, it was founded in Lagos in 1957 and has been at the forefront and epicenter of various personal human development initiatives engendered toward exceptional business and management leadership, community development, and general enhancement of their community.