Job Centre to the Rescue

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Raheem Akingbolu writes on how the inauguration of a Job Centre by the Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola will help cushion the effect of unemployment in the state

The government of the State of Osun recently inaugurated what it called ‘Job Centre’. With it, the state government wanted to expose residents and people of Osun to job opportunities within and outside the state.
According to the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, the centre would serve as hub of job information to unemployed youths and employers of labour in the state.

The job centre commissioning, which took place at Osogbo is an initiative of the government to tackle unemployment rate in the state and also to meet one of its six-point integral action plan, which is to create wealth in the state.

During the opening ceremony the governor said that his administration is taking job creation to a greater height with the establishment of the job centre where government will not need to employ workers directly but create an environment where finding jobs will become easy for the unemployed and better jobs for the youths.

He mentioned that the centre will provide an interface between applicants and employers by maintaining a database that will be made available to employers who need to recruit, adding that‎ it will also keep record of job vacancies which applicants can consult.

Aregbesola stressed that before the coming of his administration there was a high and frightening level of youth disorientation‎ which brought about the OYES that engaged 20,000 youths in public works in less than 100 days after inauguration.

According to him, “Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, O-YES policy, brought great micro-economic impact on the state with N200 million monthly allowances given to the youth under the programme.

‘’All the programmes we have implemented and the one of today have been captured in the Green Book which we entitled: “My Path with Osun“. Today, if you open the book, you will find all we have done and are doing. If anybody had told you that in Osogbo there would be the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, would you have believed it was possible? But is it there now or not?

“If anybody had told you that a road would start from Osogbo and run through to Ila Odo Kwara Boundary in one tenure; would you believe it was possible? But is it there now or not? When I said we would employ 20, 000 youths in our hundred days in office, many laughed and called us jokers. Today, has the joke been translated into truth or not?’’

The Governor stated that his administration is responsible to all the people in the state and not a section of it. He revealed that of the 4 million population of Osun, there are 60 thousand civil servants (retired and working), whose salary and pension are much more than the revenue accruing to the state today.

Uniqueness of the initiative

The centre was said to have been tailored towards the job creation mechanism of the late premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, when he conceived WEMA Board, which served similar purpose for the people of the South West Nigeria.

In her speech, former Commissioner for Human Resources and Capacity-Building, Mrs. Mobolaji Akande, who doubles as the chief consultant to government on the project, described the idea of the centre as unprecedented. She said Osun was the first state in the federation to establish such centre to help reduce employment crisis the country is battling with.

Mobolaji said the Job Centre was designed with two purposes of providing comprehensive data base of Osun job seekers and provide a robust system for collating accurate figures of employment and unemployment rates in the state.

According to her, the data collated would help the state government to plan better for economic policies through highlighting areas of skills and skill deficits.

She stated that the Job Centre would provide employment support services such as career counseling for job seekers; employability skills training; verification of certificates; job fairs to connect individuals to employers of labour and seminars to be given by experts from all fields of the economy.

“With these services, the Centre aims to turn out job seekers that are well equipped to make better choices be it in their educational training or their future careers and in so doing, set more realistic goals for themselves.

“This will enable the state government to better plan its economic policies by highlighting areas of skills or skills deficits possessed by its human resources. The Osun Job Centre is a State Government-funded programme and its services are provided at no cost to the users of its facilities. It will serve as an intermediary between job seekers and employers, with the goal of matching the company’s needs and requirements with a job seeker’s skills, experiences and interests.

“The Centre does not create neither does it find jobs for users of its facilities. What it does is complement other youth empowerment programmes that this administration has put in place,” Akande said.

Imports

If the position of government on the centre is anything to go by, Osun indigenes and residents would henceforth be able to apply and pursue any job from anywhere, from the confine of their rooms. Beyond public service, Aregbesola indicated that the centre would enable indigenes of the state to access job opportunities in the private sector, especially the multinationals.

According to him, the rationale behind the establishment of the centre was to make job seekers more employable and better placed for possible opportunities.
He said a job seeker will be made to understand what it takes to fit into a desired job better through requisite training and comprehensive engagement of applicants on the dynamism of labour market.

The governor, therefore, enjoined job seekers to develop their God-given skills and not to rely on academic qualifications alone to secure jobs.
He said the centre would be committed to training of applicants on how to perfectly package their qualifications and skills as well as connect them with different job opportunities.

He said: “There are works everywhere but our people have restricted themselves to their comfort zones, we want to use the centre as a link between employers and people of Osun State. To achieve this, we want to go beyond the online portal by exposing them to the nuances required to excel during text and interviews,” the Governor stated.