•By Monsuru Olowoopejo•
The University of Lagos, UNILAG, its counterpart, Lagos State University, LASU, and other tertiary institutions across the country churn out graduates annually, but a larger percentage of these graduates will not get jobs not because Nigeria’s economy is bad, rather because they lack ‘soft skills’.
Dr. Olusoji George,, recruitment expert for multinational companies, disclosed toVanguardin an interview ahead of the training for UNILAG students, that Nigerian graduates lack the final touch needed by multinational companies to hand them employment.George noted that the students could not be blamed for not having these skills, saying “it is not in the curriculum introduced by the Nigerian University Commission, NUC and, hence, the universities will not teach the students. “What is in the curriculum introduced by NUC and adopted by each university were hard skills, that is, reading the theories and others and not the soft skills needed to win the hearts of multinational companies.“Any child sent abroad to study gets the best job on his return to Nigeria. It is not because they are more brilliant than those who studied in the country. But they possess the soft skills needed by these companies.This creates an unlevel playing field. “It is sad that after four years of intensive studies in school,a student cannot get a job. It is pathetic that not all parents can afford the huge fund required to send their child abroad to study,” he added.
George who is also a senior partner/Chief Executive Officer, J.Soji-George, explained that soft skills are interpersonal relationship etiquettes that if exhibited, endears any job seeker to anyone recruiting for companies, Some of the etiquettes, he said were “how to answer questions during job interviews, what to wear and not, how they must sit especially for ladies and others. Don’t forget, you will not find this in the curriculum.” In abid to assist students in Nigeria, George stated that his organisation, Foundation for leadership and Education Development and ESSO Mobile Nigeria, will be training 110 students in first and Second Class upper category from faculty of Business Administration, UNILAG on Soft skills. His words, “we would have loved to handle all the students but the funds is not available. For instance, to train all graduating students in UNILAG on soft skill, it will require over N20 million for the exercise. And each faculty requires different soft skills which requires expert to coach them on it.“That is why corporate bodies are needed to assist in training these graduating students especially the indigents ones. With this training, they will be useful not only to the society but themselves. This training is expected to make Nigerian graduates employable.”