Report Highlights Impact of COVID-19 on Graduates

Ugo Aliogo
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted 47 per cent of graduates and their activities (including job search), a report has stated.

Also 17 per cent of graduates lost their jobs due to the pandemic, a research by the Knowledge Exchange Centre (KEC) and BudgIT revealed.

The Executive Secretary, KEC, Aghogho Akporido, disclosed this during the virtual graduation ceremony of 43 students in its Graduate Advancement Programme (GAP) network, recently.

He said the programme was extended to three months as opposed to the previous six weeks. He also said during the selection process, training session, career counselling and mentoring session and even in some cases, the internship was done virtually (online).

Akporido said for the first time there were participants from eight states and volunteers across Nigeria, adding this was not possible prior to the pandemic.

He further explained that the programme was a 3-month employability programme that develops work-ready graduates employers are looking for in today’s job market.

According to him, “This year, we had some of participants who got job offers in the middle of the programme. This has never happened in the history of the programme.

“The last three months of this programme has been intense and demanding for all of us. Our graduate members went through 15 employability courses ranging from emotional intelligence, problem solving and decision making, effective presentation skills but to mention a few. During the course of the training, they have were involved in numerous class presentations, book reviews, class discussions, group activities and projects and numerous assignments.

“Our graduate members have also had the good fortune of meeting with qualified and experienced career counsellors and mentors who have been a great support to each of them.

“We have made concerted effort to ensure that the programme is designed to address the current realities of today’s job market. I will be the first to admit that the programme is not perfect. Our goal for next year 2021 is to take advantage of what we have learnt this year, to improve on subsequent edition of the programme.”

He added: “As I speak to you, about eight per cent of our participants are currently employed in full time jobs. Some are already in the process of landing a job. Our goal is to ensure that at least 80 per cent of our graduate members are able to secure meaningful jobs within the next six months. We intend to make this happen through our career support system.”

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