NUC,UNIDO,ITF partner to bridge skill-gap

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Worried by the increasing rate of skill gap among school leavers and which has denied them of absorption into the labour market, the National Universities Commission (NUC) is partnering with the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to improve the linkage among institutions, graduates and industries.

NUC’s Executive Secretary, Julius Okojie, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at a one day Workshop on Pilot TRACER Study of Selected Graduates from Some Universities in Nigerian University System (NUS).

Okojie who was represented by Prof. Chiedu Mafiana, Deputy Executive Secretary, NUC, Okojie said TRACER would focus on gathering necessary information required to improve the curriculum, teaching and research in Nigerian Universities.

TRACER study is a simple tool designed to measure the relevance of vocational training. It is also a management tool for the planning and monitoring of training programmes.

“This workshop is a culmination of several interactive sessions between the NUC, ITF and UNIDO.

Okojie said: “Tracer study, is an important activity for us at the NUC. It aims at building robust link between institutions, their graduates and the labour market.

“The Tracer studies will, therefore, assist in ascertaining the effectiveness and relevance of the degrees obtained from the NUS to the labour market.

“It will also assist to ascertain the relevance of the NUS curricula to the job functions of the graduates in their various places of work and their professional development in various fields,’’ he said.

According to him, the contributions of the NUS graduates in public and private sectors to the development of the Nigerian economy will also be ascertained.

He urged the management of NUS to partner NUC in the establishment of Alumni offices and to develop a directory to track their graduates .

Professor Olumide Ayodele, UNIDO Project Coordinator, Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan and Industrial Skills, said the workshop would identify problem of skills in the NUS and address them.

“There is a skill-gap assessment being under taken with ITF to see the mismatch between the demand for skills and the supply and address the problem.

“Studies show that there are jobs in the industries, yet many are unemployed because they do not have the skills to take up the jobs.

“That is why this study is very important and we expect that the report will transform the NUS,’’ he said.

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