In continuation of a massive job creation drive, President Goodluck Jonathan has instituted a national job survey meant to ascertain the number of skilled vacancies in all sectors of the economy. The Federal Government commissioned the survey in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
According to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr Olusegun Aganga, the survey will tell the number of skilled workers needed in all the various sectors over the next 10 years in view of the investments being made in the sectors. Aganga disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Friday at the end of the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Jobs Board presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo. The board was mandated by President Goodluck Jonathan to create three million jobs in 12 months.
The minister said, “For the first time in this country, we have begun a national job survey of skills gap for the country so that by sector, we will know what the gap is and know what it is required to fill that gap. We are not just looking at the existing gaps today, we are looking at where the investments are going to. We are looking at the next five to 10 years.”
“For instance, a lot of investments are going to automobile, we have automobile engineers, how many will we need in the next five to 10 years. A lot of investments are going to sugarcane, to sugar, do we have the skills to do that? How many will we need in the next three, five or 10 years?
“About N16 billion is going to petrochemicals, fertilizer, and methanol, we will need skilled players. A lot of investments are going to metals, iron ore and all that.
“Most of these positions at the moment in this country are not filled and if they are filled, they are filled by foreigners. We do not have anything to ensure that our graduates coming out from the universities are very relevant to the economy today.
“So for the first time in this country we have embarked on that national survey with UNIDO and that survey will be ready in January. That survey will be used by training institutions like Industrial Training Fund to ensure people are trained. But not just trained, but trained to work immediately.”
The minister noted the survey result would also be useful to the Ministry of Education in preparing relevant syllabus from secondary school to higher levels.