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Tackling Nigerian youth unemployment

Friday, September 04, 2015 - 01:30

Youth unemployment is a massive problem in Nigeria, official figures showing up to one in two young people out of work. But as Ivor Bennett reports, a new wave of employment agencies are attempting to tackle the issue.

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The ability to sell. Some have it, some don't - and not always those with degrees. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MISAN REWANE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WEST AFRICA VOCATIONAL EDUCATION (WAVE) SAYING: "When I ask for a 2:1 this person comes in and they don't have the basic skills of even completing a sentence, they don't know how to manage my expectations and tell me they are running late, they don't know how to manage a budget." Misan Rewane runs WAVE. Part careers service, part employment agency - it aims to equip young Nigerians with the skills needed to find a job. Official figures suggest one in every two 15 to 24-year-olds are out of work. Experts believe it's actually much higher. IT-training firm Andela is another company trying to change that. In the last two years, it's trained some 200 computer programmers and software developers - skills director Ebun Omoni says are crucial. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EBUN OMONI, DIRECTOR OF SUCCESS, ANDELA SAYING: "Long gone I believe are the days were you just learn a skilled set of trade and then you just do that for ever. So we teach them the skills and the technology to be able to survive, we also teach them the way to think and how to approach the changing economy and changing landscape." But one thing they can't change is supply. Nigeria has the world's fastest growing population, with over 100 million people economically active. The lack of jobs has quite literally become a matter of life and death. 6 people were killed in a stampede last year, when hundreds of thousands showed up to apply for less than 5000 positions with the Immigration Service.

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Tackling Nigerian youth unemployment

Friday, September 04, 2015 - 01:30