By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
Thousands of Nigerian graduates from universities across the country join the labour market (some prefer to say favour market) annually. Whether it is labour or favour market, the fact is the job market is changing at the speed of light and if these graduates do not catch up, a good number of the graduates will be unemployable.
Technology is undoubtedly disrupting the labour market and creating a whole new set of jobs. Clearly, businesses are already innovating, evolving and following trends in the tech world. Due to this, some have said that technology will force people out of jobs and render a large chunk unemployable. This is only true for those who are stagnant and refuse to upskill.
Ideas like artificial intelligence, internet of things, automation, virtual reality, machine learning, touch commerce and more have become known and are widely being used to simplify the functions of workers.
Interestingly, government and organisations in Nigeria are already preparing for the future. Jumia, Nigeria’s No.1 shopping destination has an innovative eCommerce platform, debuted the first eCommerce chatbot in Nigeria called the JumiaBot. With the chatbot, you book your hotel & flight, and order for food. Chatbots are based on artificial intelligence technology.
As such the future of work will revolve around machines helping humans to improve and boost productivity.
The preparedness of Nigerian youths for the future of work
Nigerian youths are aware that the workplace is changing. However, there is still a lot to be done to prepare them for the future of work. Unfortunately, only a handful of organisations are willing to train graduates. The onus is, therefore, on the students to acquire skills that will put them in tandem with the current trends in the workplace.
What can be done?
The first thing is to overhaul the courses of some Nigerian universities. These courses should reflect the current technology trend. This will equip the students will skills and knowledge that are essential to the workplace. As such, these graduates will become employable and would not need to scavenge for jobs; jobs will be readily waiting for them.
Also, universities need to tighten the noose on internships so that students go to organisations where they can actually learn and improve themselves in preparedness for the future regardless of whether they are paid or not.