Updated: Feb 11
The total number of people living in Nigeria is roughly 200 million. Out of this number, about 111 million people are within the economically active population i.e. people ages 15 – 64 that are able to work. But with an unemployment rate of about 19%, it means that 21 million people that are able to work are unable to find jobs. A lot of these unemployed group are educated and have basic and/or higher educational qualifications. Many times, the qualifications and skills graduates hold differ from those required by employers.
In the presence of limited formal job opportunities, how do we improve job creation and employment in countries like Nigeria? Vocational training is the solution --it should be encouraged for the following reasons:
1. Higher chances of getting a job after study: Vocational graduates have better employment opportunities than graduates from academic tertiary schools. The courses offered by vocational schools are usually driven by the demands of the economy. These institutions are able to customize their programs to harmonize with what employers are eagerly looking for. This ensures the students from such institutions stay on-demand in the midst of changing work-related demands by the employers.
2. Shorter time in school/training: Vocational school programs are typically shorter than a 4-year private or public school. Degree programs at community colleges or technical schools typically include 2 years of full-time study.
3. Equips people with the specific skills required for a given job: The term ‘vocational’ actually means ‘work-related’. So if a person is undergoing a vocational training, he/she is learning skills that will help him/her to directly get and do a specific job.
4. Can attend same level as degree: Some people are not aware that one can actually get vocational qualifications that will take him/her up to the same level as a degree, so the opportunities for continued personal development are still there, even if he/she does not choose the conventional route.
5. Self-employment: Vocational graduates typically have entrepreneurial skills. Take for example someone who studied carpentry, they are able to employ themselves.
6. Lower Cost for Training: This gives one greater financial freedom and considerably less debt compared to academic pursuits.
7. Job Security: Educated workers get retired or retrenched at some point in their career but a skilled worker can start up a business or a company for themselves even after losing their job.
8. Allows people focus on their talent or passion from the start: When one opts for this kind of education, it is usually because he/she has a preference for hands-on activities while learning to do the job that always seemed interesting to them.
Photo Credit: Vocation Training HQ
Still craving for more? Read 10 benefits of vocational training
Article Credit: Shadrach Adamu