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Internships, training vital for organisational development, experts say

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However the recurring complaint among major stakeholders in the public and private sector about the inadequate skill set possessed by both employed graduates as well as job seekers is a reflection of the quality of education they are exposed to in their developmental stages.

Adigo Karibo, a Port Harcourt based microbiologist who graduated with a second class upper degree is saddled with the responsibility of finding a good job.

After three years of shuffling between serving as a front desk clerk to functioning as a ‘marketing personnel’ for a small start-up enterprise located two streets form her house, she wants a better opportunity and would give anything to culture micro-organisms as her life’s work.

She stated, “I have been out of school for a while and I didn’t want to sit at home doing nothing like most of my mates were so once I got the offer to be a receptionist at a company my friend introduced me to, I jumped at it. The pay was really small but I just was happy to leave home in the morning everyday. Right now, I really want to work in a place where they are practicing what I studied in the university and I have been applying but they haven’t been calling me back after the interviews.”

The case with Adigo is not peculiar to her alone as her prime reason for not scoring high on those tests is that she was not exposed to a system that trained her on the rudiments of analytical thinking, corporate culture and business management. According to her, these are key areas of interest at all the interviews she had attended.

While many are quick to blame the lack of employment opportunities on the dearth of available spaces for engagement in the corporate sector, others are of the opinion that with active skills acquisition and core competency enlightenment carried out by the candidates at the foundational level, their chances of recruitment would be higher and the general productivity of staff, increased.

Speaking at the Women In Successful Careers, WISCAR, seminar held recently in Lagos, Stanbic IBTC’s Country Head for Human Development and Personnel Management, Mrs. Olufunke Amobi stated that, “I have had a career spanning over two decades in the human capital development field and I have found that one of the major reasons people do not get employed or retained by the establishments they work with is that they do not go outside the areas that their school courses are focused on to learn basic skills that they can apply for problem-solving within the establishments they either want join or already belong to.”

With the rate at which seminars and workshops on career advancements are created and patronized, it is a clear reflection of the awareness level among people below the retirement age and showcases the gaping hole in the tertiary education system.

Some stakeholders believe that many of the programmes designed by the government – an example being the national Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) carried out by the universities at undergraduate level – are inefficient due to the low level of commitment by the managers of the schemes and the lack of interest displayed by the non-public sector.

Highlighting the need for the private sector to actively participate in the capacity building of young graduates gearing to enter the workforce, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, the former Chief Executive Officer of Niemeth Pharmaceutical expressed, “The internship programmes and industrial training should be taken more seriously. I’m scandalized that people who are sent to many companies [for their internship programmes] are rejected and nothing is done to help these people!

“I don’t understand it, it doesn’t show a serious country. If we are serious enough, the industry will push the programme so that when the guys are graduating the industry know that they are already fitted for purpose, so that is what we should go with.”

Explaining the rationale behind his viewpoint, Ohuabunwa further stated, “When people come out of school and join your organization, they leave with some level of experience. Human beings who work for you are capital until you make investments into their lives and upgrade them through investments in skill acquisitions and training.

As many seek ways to check this misnomer, a few institutions have begun to reap the rewards of engaging in the scheme.

Citingbenefits for corporate entities who have taken up the responsibility to improve the general state of their staff, Ms Bukola Osibigun, the lead training consultant and managing director of Tom Associates said, “Business leaders who are future-thinking understand the value of improving their workers. The fact that you already took them in shows that they have some abilities that you find attractive, abilities that if they polish properly can make them blossom and help them do their jobs better. In the long run, it is the company that gains the most from the process.

“Also it makes the employee loyal to you and that is something that is very hard to come by in this time and age where it’s a rat race and everybody is thinking for themselves.”

When BDSunday pin-pointed incidences where staff who had been trained by the institutions they work for had resigned right after the programmes at the detriment of the organizations, Osibigun proffered that staff be made to sign engagement forms where “they are to stay within the company for a period of at least one year after the training so as to pass on the knowledge and the company can get back their investment. If the employee refuses to sign then he cannot be trained.”

Article Credit: Businessdayonline

Updated 5 Years ago

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Tags:     Adigo Karibo     Internships     Mrs. Olufunke Amob     Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa     Ms Bukola Osibigun