Following the call for action to address the youth unemployment crisis and place youth development on top of National and State development agendas, the Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation (AEF) in collaboration with Aldelia Global Manpower (a human resource firm headquartered in London, UK) on Saturday 30th January, 2021 in Calabar organized a forum where more than 200 young minds were orientated on the job opportunities available to them locally and globally.
The Panelist included Prof. Florence Obi, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar; Maxine Pittet, Project and Business Development Manager, Aldelia Nigeria; Dr. Francis Ntamu, Cross River State’s Chief Economic Adviser; Asuquo Ekpenyong, Jr. Cross River State’s Commissioner for Finance, while the Panel of discussion was moderated by Elder Eyo Nsa Eyo-Ita, The Chairman, Cross River State Employment and Local Content Bureau.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong, Jr. who flagged off the maiden edition of the Asuquo Ekpenyong Youth Employment Forum described the forum as an initiative geared toward actualizing one of the Foundation’s objectives of promoting and preparing the next generation of work force in the State and Nation in general.
The discussant identified factors responsible for recent unemployment trends to include, but not limited to, the global pandemic; skills mismatch; lack of adequate entrepreneurship and life skills education; lack of access to capital etc.
The Commissioner for Finance mentioned that ways to improve employment opportunities for young people included entrepreneurship and vocational training programmes in educational curriculums; young entrepreneur’s access to start up capital; development of the ICT/Tech sector.
In that same vain, Prof. Florence Obi disclosed that the University of Calabar is running series of entrepreneurship programs at its Entrepreneurship Development Centre to assist the students in entrepreneurship skills and public relations. She noted that in addition to the already existing entrepreneurship development programmes, third year students who are undergoing internship with industries will be to access Start-up grant to assist their viable Enterprises.
She also stated that the Univeristy is currently reviewing its curriculum/courses to ensure her graduates are are relevant in today’s jobs market.
The representative of Areebajobs who doubles as the Project and Business Development Manager (Nigeria) for Aldelia Global Manpower, Maxine Pittet described Areeba Jobs as a job matching platform aimed at facilitating the job search by matching the applicants with the role corresponding exactly to their experience. She added that Areebajobs is building strong relationships with universities across Nigeria and Africa so as to become their career centres so that all talents will use this AI platform to access jobs and internships.
The Areebajobs platform (www.areebajobs.com) will connect talents, clients and training institutions to develop the visibility and the employability of African talents. These talents will be qualified and tested via the platform’s online tests. Users of this platform are also able to attend online training to improve their employability. Instant Matching will be automatic using AI – Talent – Job Description/Talent – Training. Clients will be able to advertise, recruit talents and train personnel on the platform. The platform is accessible through desktop computers and mobile phones.
She enlightened the audience that her firm is currently tasked with a project to recruit significant number of young Nigerians to work with the European Union out of their Italy and Netherlands office.
She further stressed the importance to leverage on technology and the internet when seeking for jobs and the fact that job seekers are no longer limited by their geographical location as the new normal of working remotely means that you can live in Calabar and be working for a firm in New York or London.
She encouraged youths looking for employment opportunities to go online and register their CVs on www.areebajobs.com