Curbing Unemployment Through Skills Acquisition: a Study of the National Directorate of Employment (Nde), Kaduna State
Curbing Unemployment through Skills Acquisition: A Study of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Kaduna State By AMUPITAN, Oboromeni Federal University, Lokoja Nigeria January, 2011. ABSTRACT The paper “Curbing Unemployment through Skills acquisition: A case of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE)”Kaduna State is about unemployment and how it can be reduced through skills acquisition. This work is aimed at finding out how the NDE has reduced unemployment through its skills acquisition programme.
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Data was collected from both primary and secondary sources which include published and unpublished works, journals, internet, questionnaires and interviews. The systematic sampling method was used in determining the sample size of 150 respondents, statistical tables was used in data analysis while the Average Mean Score method was used for the test of the hypothesis formulated. The formulated hypothesis which states “that inadequate skills acquisition has led to an increase in graduate unemployment in Kaduna State” was Accepted.
It was discovered and also recommended that skills acquisition is an effective tool in reducing graduate unemployment. Thus, specific skills acquisition schemes should be included in the curriculum of post-secondary schools to help make graduates self employed. INTRODUCTION 1. 1Background of the Study Unemployment is no longer an alien word to the world’s populace. Even the western world experienced a notable rise in their unemployment rate, as the official unemployment rate in the 16 European countries that use the euro rose to 10% in December, 2009. Deutsche. 2010) Developed countries which hitherto experienced full employment are presently affected. The situation in Nigeria is quite alarming as the unemployment rate tends to be on a perpetual rise. In nations, most especially, developing countries like Nigeria unemployment serves as a major yardstick for development as was rightly portrayed in Dudley Seers definition of development. Seers (1969) asserted that: The questions to ask about a country’s development are therefore: what has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to inequality?
What has been happening to unemployment? If all three of these have declined from high level, then beyond doubt this has been a period of development for the country concerned. If one or two of these central problems have been worse especially if all three have, it would be strange to call the result “development” even if per capita income doubled. As a result of this consequence and the rising rate of unemployment, the Federal Government of Nigeria established a committee in 1986 to proffer solution to the menace (unemployment).
The committee’s recommendations formed the basis for the establishment of the “National Directorate of Employment” in 1986 established to curb and reduce the rate of unemployment through skills acquisition, self employment and labour intensive work scheme. 1. 2Statement of the Problem The International Labour Organisation feels “occurs when a person is available and willing to work but currently without work”. It is unfortunate that such occurrence is prevalent in the nation. Ake opined that “unemployment remains the greatest challenge of the economic wellbeing of the Nigerian Nation” (Daily Trust Newspaper, Jan. , 2010 Pg. 34) Unemployment rate has been of immense interest to the general public and policy makers. The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) was established in 2003 to promote the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector of the Nigeria economy. It is to source, process and disseminate business information, develop policy, establish business support programmes build capacity and promote services, enhance MSME access to finance. The question is: how may Micro Small and Medium Enterprises have emerged from this scheme?
The recent crisis in the financial sector which has led to a ban on loan is an obvious limitation to this scheme. Should our graduates then become unemployed because banks are not giving out loans? Another of such programme is the Nigerian Agricultural Co-operative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB) Limited which is dedicated to financing agriculture at both micro and macro levels, they are to provide affordable financial and advisory services to the farm and non-farm enterprises of the Nigeria economy using well trained and highly motivated staff, back by appropriate technology.
If the NACRDB provided such assistance on time and make their procedures less cumbersome, many people would have been attracted to the scheme. But ironically, such funds more often than not are eventually made available at the end of the farming season. Also programmes such as (the Directorate for food, Roads and Rural Infrastructures otherwise known as (DFRRI), Mass Mobilization Self Reliance and Economic Reconstruction (MAMSER) and the National Agricultural Land Development Project (NALDA) created by the Babangida regime were all scraped by the Abacha regime.
During the 1980’s there was a global recession which became progressively worse for Nigeria because of the inherent weakness in the economy. The sudden reduction in oil prices led to cuts in government expenditure budgets leading to a reduction in employment opportunities especially school leavers. Hence, in order to curb the menace of the rising unemployment rate and considering its political and socio-economic implication; which includes a general increase in crime rates, such as armed robbery, youth restiveness, political thuggery, alcoholism, vandalization of petroleum pipes and electricity cables and prostitution.
Economic wastage such as excessive loss of output which manifests in a reduction of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and gross underutilization of Human Resources were reasons which led to the establishment of the National Directorate of Employment in 1986 to create employment for the teaming unemployed. Unfortunately, unemployment has either been on the rise or fluctuating, this is reflective in the various unemployment rates. As at 1985, unemployment rate was 8. 5%; 14. % in 2005 and as at December, 2009 it became 19. 7% (Wikipedia Encyclopedia). Is the National Directorate of employment living up to its mandate or are there other factors that affect unemployment? This, the researcher seeks to find out. Hence, this study seeks to find out how the National directorate of Employment has helped in reducing unemployment through skills acquisition programmes. 1. 3Objectives of the Study 1) To determine the causes of unemployment in Nigeria. ) To find out whether skills acquisition will help curb unemployment to the barest minimum. 3) To proffer possible solutions to the problems being faced by the National Directorate of Employment and make recommendations that will help improve the Directorate. 1. 4 Hypothesis Tested The following hypothesis was formulated: That inadequate skills acquisition has led to an increase in graduate unemployment in Kaduna state. 1. 5Significance of the Study
The study would provide vital information on the reduction of unemployment through skills acquisition; thereby helping not just students of public administration but the general public, policy makers and politicians, who are either affected in one way or the other or charged with the task of making developmental policies to set their priorities right. On the whole, the work would also add to knowledge. 1. 6Scope and Limitation This study is limited to the graduate scheme of the National directorate of Employment, Kaduna state.
Focus was on two local governments, that is, Zaria and Kaduna north, mainly because they contain the highest proportion of graduate beneficiaries. The time frame used is 2005 to 2009. 1. 7Methodology Data for this study was collected from both primary and secondary sources, which include textbooks, journals, newspapers, article, and the brochure of National Directorate of Employment, National Directorate of Employment annual reports, file documents, internet, and publication, among others.
Primary data were sourced mainly from questionnaires administered to both staff and beneficiaries of the National Directorate of Employment. Population and Sample Size Two local governments (Zaria, and Kaduna South) were picked as the focus basically because they have the highest amount of graduate beneficiaries. Thus, 150 questionnaires were administered to both members of staff and beneficiaries. The Systematic Sampling method in which 1 respondent was picked out of every 8 respondents was used. This gave a sample size of 150 respondents out of the total population size of 1200 people.
The total population size includes both beneficiaries and staff is 1200. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistical techniques i. e. Average mean score and tables will form the basic analytical tools. LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 2. 1Discussion of Related Concepts 2. 1. 1Unemployment Unemployment as defined by the International Labour Organisation “occurs when a person is available and willing to work but currently without work. Thus ILO agrees that only a person who is willing and available to work can be referred to as unemployed.
This implies that not everybody who is not working is unemployed, To Colander D. C. unemployment occurs when people are looking for a job and cannot find one. This further concurs with the earlier definition where there is a conscious effort by the person or people seeking employment, but fails to point out if the person or people in question have something doing or not, because some people who are working seek new jobs. Form the foregoing definitions, one is forced to ask if anybody willing and available to work could be termed unemployed, evened if the person is a child.
To this Frank R. et al defined unemployment as “adults not holding a job but looking for one. ” Who then is an adult? An adult is one who is 18 years and above, therefore the definition could be said to be “Anyone who is 18 years and above who is not holding a job but looking for one could be termed unemployed. In line with the aforementioned, the Bureau of Labour Statistics USA considers a person who is 16 years or older who has not worked during the preceding week but made some effort to find work (for example, by going to a job interview) in the past four weeks as unemployed.
Unemployment in Nigeria has actually become a menace, a vivid picture of which was painted by former executive secretary, National Manpower Board (NMB) Umo when he said at a seminar that “the problem of unemployment amongst our tertiary gradates is of recent vintage, if situated in a historical perspective, it is not more than two decades since it started, but since then, it has become unabated and cumulative”. To him many young graduates move from long spells of unemployment to high crimes including armed robbery while others have become handy tools for unscrupulous politicians. 2. 1. 2Employment
The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines employment as “the situation in which people have work”. This definition clearly States that when a person has work doing he/she is employed but fails to specify if the person is being paid for the work or not. Operationally, employment could be referred to the act of labour force being temporarily or fully occupied on either wages basis of interest basis for self occupied work. This definition added a new dimension, in that employment could be work based on wages or mere self interest either way, one is employed provided he/she is working.
Frank et al defined employment in terms of being employed. To them a person is employed if he or she worked full-time or part-time (even for a few hours) during the past week or is on vacation or sick-leave from a regular job. In a nut shell, employment could be defined as a person who is currently working for wages or self-interest. 2. 1. 3Labour Force Thomas J. H. et al (1970) defines labour force “as the non-institutional population who are working or looking for work”.
That is, it includes the unemployed, employed, proprietors, the self employed and members of the armed forces. To him, the labour force excludes all person engaged exclusively in housework in the homes or attending school, that is, a student, is not a member of the labour force unless he is working in addition to attending school (it is worthy of note that “non-institutional population” refers to all persons 16 years of age and older including members of the armed services but excluding persons in institutions). 2. 1. 4 Full Employment
To Ackely the concept of full employment is a very “slippery concept” and though “full employment is not definable nor should it be defined”, believes that Henry Hazlutt, it is worth-while analyzing the various views of economists on full employment. The Classical View The classical economists believed in the existence of full employment in the economy. Full employment to them was a normal situation and any deviation from this was regarded as abnormal. To the classical economists “unemployment resulted from the rigidity in the wage structure and interference in the working of free market system.
This comes in the form of trade union legislation, minimum wage legislation etc. On the other hand, Full employment exists “when everybody who at the running rate of wages wishes to be employed”. According to Pigou, those who are not prepared to work at the existing wage rate are not unemployed because they are voluntarily unemployed. To them, there should be no possibility of involuntary unemployment in the sense that, people are prepared to work but they do not find work. According to the classical economists, the above view only operates in an ideal economy.
This far differs from the reality in which involuntary unemployment is prevalent. The Keynesian View To Keynes, full employment means the absence of involuntary unemployment. That is, full employment is a situation in which everybody who wants to work gets work. He assumes that “with a given organisation, equipment and technique, real wages and the volume of output are uniquely co-related so that, in general, an increase in employment can only occur to the accompaniment of a decline in the rate of wages”.
In order to achieve full employment, Keynes advocates increases in effective demand to bring about reduction in real wages. 2. 2Types of Unemployment Economists have distinguished between various types of unemployment which includes Cyclical Unemployment, Frictional Unemployment, Structural Unemployment and Classical Unemployment. The aforementioned types are the most widely accepted by scholars. Other additional types that are occasionally mentioned are Seasonal unemployment, Hardcore unemployment Migrated unemployment. . 2. 1Cyclical or Keynesian Unemployment Cyclical or Keynesian unemployment is also known as Demand Deficient Unemployment. It occurs when there is not enough aggregated demand in the economy. Cyclical unemployment exists when the number of workers demanded falls short of the number of persons supplied (in the labour force). It gets its name because it varies with the business cycle which consists of alternating periods of booms and depressions. Robert F. et al said it could e likened to the most familiar form of musical chairs, in which the number of chairs is always less than the number of players. The Great Depression of the 1930’s is a striking example of Cyclical unemployment. In Nigeria today, the recent economic in Nigeria recession where supply was more than demand, most especially in the private sector is an example of cyclical unemployment. 2. 2. 2Frictional Unemployment Frictional unemployment occurs when a worker moves from one job to another. The time period between jobs is considered “frictional unemployment”.
Frictional unemployment is an example of a productive part of the economy, increasing both the worker’s long term welfare and economic efficiency and is also a type of voluntary unemployment. 2. 2. 3Structural Unemployment Structural unemployment occurs when the numbers of jobs in a labour market are unable to provide substantial jobs for everyone who wants one. 2. 2. 4Classical Unemployment Classical or real-way unemployment occurs when real wages for a job are set above the market clearing level, causing the number of job-seekers to exceed the number of vacancies.
Economists like Murray Ruthbard, suggest that even social taboos can prevent wages from falling to the market clearing level. Some economists believe that this type of unemployment can be reduced by increasing the flexibility of wages (abolishing minimum wages or employee protection) to make the labour market more like a financial market. This suggestion unfortunately, will lead to massive exploitation on the part of employers most especially in developing countries. 2. 2. 5Seasonal Unemployment Bradley R. S. s of the view that some joblessness is virtually inevitable as long as we continue to grow crops, build houses, or go skiing at certain seasons of the year. At the end of each season thousands of workers go searching for new jobs, thereby experiencing some seasonal unemployment in the process. Like in Nigeria, during the raining season, farmers are actively employed to plough sow, cultivate and harvest crops, this include both the aged and young. It is very common to see rural-urban migrants, return to their rural villages to cultivate during the raining season.
And once harvest is over they return to towns to search for menial jobs to carter for their needs. 2. 3Causes of Unemployment in Nigeria The cost of unemployment in any nation cannot be overemphasized, below are some of the costs identified by eminent scholars: individuals, economists, psychological, social socio-political. Economic Causes i)The Legacy of British Rule The bequest of some Nigerians who had high school education after independent and held job felt to be remunerated with high wages was a right.
This made majority of high school graduates at that time expressed their distaste for agriculture and their desires to be “pen pushers” these people were attracted to white collar jobs which were borrowed from the colonial master. This white collar jobs were unlike agriculture which provides employment for about eighty percent of the population. The colonial government fiscal policy with respect to employment also discouraged new entrants into agriculture which was the major alternative for white collar job.
Under the policy, marketing boards were introduced where farmers were heavily taxed by the colonial government. This made agriculture less appealing and killed the incentive that would have made people wish to take it upon as a carrier. Therefore, the mentality of white collar job was built into individuals Nigerian as a future employment. ii)The Oil Boom Era (1974-1980) Agriculture prior to the exportation of petrol had been the main asset of the economy but was neglected during the oil boom. All sorts of things were imported into the country.
The government of the day embarked upon all sorts of “white elephant:” projects e. g Ajaokuta Steel, building of Refinery, etc instead of investing in property with the windfall from oil. Over reliance on petroleum has till today led to fluctuation in government’s expenditures on unnecessary things and wastage of resource. The sudden slump in the international market for oil makes many projects undertaken especially construction come to stand still. Many employment opportunities were forced to reduce their capabilities.
Nigeria found itself in economic mess which it is still battling to salvage. iii)Consumption Pattern This entails the pattern of consumption of Nigerians’ as a relationship to the problem of unemployment. It has contributed to the high level of urban unemployment because the consumption of urban centres’ entails imported goods which attracted more able people from rural areas to search for job in urban centres’. This is due to the fact that Nigerians are to believe their home made goods are inferior.
But the more the demand for goods and services from foreign source the more employment we make available to the nationals of those countries and the reverse is the case for Nigeria. Social Causes i)Rural-Urban Migration The flow of labour force from rural to urban area has been a major cause of Nigeria’s unemployment situation. As a result of the neglect of agriculture and great increase in government expenditure during the oil boom era led to the migration of many young people who would have otherwise stayed in the rural areas to practice agriculture as an occupation.
Most migrants from rural areas were found to have only primary education with few having six years of secondary education. This led to surplus of unskilled workers and shortage of high level manpower. But now that Nigeria’s economy is producing more and more gradates from her institutions of higher learning, in almost all the metropolitan cities the unemployment problem continues to increase. People unable to get job since urban areas became saturated and unable to absorb every skilled job seekers. Table 1
Unemployment Rates, 2003-2007 (as at December) Description| 2003| 2004| 2005| 2006| 2007| National (Composite)| 14. 8| 11. 8| 11. 9| 14. 6| 10. 9| Urban | 17. 1| 11. 0| 10. 1| 10. 0| 10. 0| Rural | 13. 8| 12. 1| 12. 6| 15. 1| 12. 6| Source: National Bureau of Statistics, 2007. From the table above the composite unemployment rate stood at 11. 9% in 2005 compared with 14. 6% in 2006, and 10. 9% in 2007. It also shows that the rural unemployment rate is higher, hence, the reason for migrating to the urban areas in search of greener pastures.
Educational Factors The type of educational system inherited from the colonial masters put more emphasis on the production of gradates for white collars jobs at the expense of technical and vocational type. The result is that gradates do not only get unemployed but do not even find “black – collar” jobs to manage. Government policy with respect to university admission for first degrees in favour of the science as opposed to the arts does not still encourage students to study the science and other technological subjects, which Nigeria lacks.
However, the expansion in all educational level ranging from primary to tertiary institutions has contributed more to the unemployment problem. This is because the expansion does not correspond with the job provisioning for future graduates from the numerous schools. Political Causes i)Political Instability Ever since Nigeria got her independence from the British colonial masters in 1960, there has been political instability. A major problem of post independent Nigeria has been conflicts of personalities in politics and unbridled political party rivalries both of which affected government policies in all parts of the country.
Apart from the fact that the country had to go through a civil war form 1960 up till 1970. There has also been series of coups which have often resulted in abrupt changes in government up to date like that of June 12, 1993. This political environment which is unstable has negative effects on investment thereby creating problem of unemployment in the country. ii)Migrants from Neighbouring Countries People from neighbouring countries such as; Ghana, Benin Republic, Ivory Coast and Togo move down to Nigeria in search for jobs.
They feel that the Nigeria economy is better and more promising. As a result of this the Nigerian Labour Market cannot absorb all the job seekers, since it has too many factors to contend with. Foreign job seekers especially those from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), those countries are often prepared to accept lower wages than Nigerians for the same type of work. And as employers are looking forward of cutting costs, they have no choice but to absorb these foreign seekers. Socio-Political Causes
The political independence Nigeria got from Great Britain was more of a flag independence and not economic Independence. Nigeria even today remains subservient to the whims and caprices of countries like Britain and United States of America. Despite the effort made to gain total control of the economy through the promulgation of the indigenization decree of 1977, Nigeria’s economy is still dominated by multinational corporations that employ a substantial number of Nigerians, thus, the fact remains that the profit is fleeing Nigeria to foreign countries head quarters.
The profit flight is supposed to be ploughed back into the country for provision of more jobs and development. Furthermore, external participation in the domestic activities of Nigeria by foreigners which is not reciprocated by similar Nigerian participation in their own domestic affairs militate against development efforts. All these slow down the economic growth and cause unemployment problem. Ethnicity Problem Nigeria is made up of many ethnic groups. Each of this ethnic group had the fear that another group may dominate it.
Apart from this, some ethnic groups which tend to be closer to neighbouring countries identify more with the than with other ethnic groups in the country that they are not familiar with. It is a fact that some northern States in Nigeria prefer to recruit Pakistani, Egyptians, and Indian professionals other than Nigerians from other ethnic group. Such discriminatory policies no doubt cause more unemployment in the country. 2. 4Theoretical Framework Various scholars have propounded theories relating to employment and unemployment.
These include those of the Classical view who believe that full employment was a normal situation and any deviation from this was regarded as abnormal. Okun’s law which was propounded by an American Economist named Arthur Okun (1926-1980) who looked at the US GNP during the 1950s and 1960s. Thus, for the purpose of this work the KEYNESIAN THEORY was adopted. It was propounded by John Maynard Keynes, a British Economist whose ideas have profoundly affected the theory and practice of modern macro economics, social liberalism and economic policies of government. 2. 3. 1The
Keynesian Theory In the Keynesian theory which was propounded in 1936, Keynes argued that aggregate demand determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. He opined that if aggregate demand is not high enough to sustain full employment level of economy, then a gap is created between aggregate demand and aggregate supply known as the deflationary gap. To him this gap must be closed through concerted government programmes if not, the situation could degenerate into chronic unemployment.
The Keynesian prescription for reducing unemployment includes the following: 1) Increase in aggregate total demand through direct increase in government expenditure 2) By government policies that indirectly encourage more private investments (e. g. investment subsidies, tax allowances, low investment rates on business loans, establishing of institutions, etc). 2. 3. 2Its Application to this Study Looking at its applicability to this work, the Keynesian theory States that: inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment.
It is no longer news in Nigeria that the demand for labour is on the decrease, as industries (e. g. textile) which hitherto where major employers of labour have been closed down due to unfavourable working conditions such as poor electricity supply, financial institutions have been hit by global recessions and the public sector have also resorted to downsizing thus making aggregate demand grossly inadequate thereby leading to a high rate of unemployment. Nigerian unemployment is a typical case of shortage in aggregate demand; the supply by far supersedes the demand.
With thousands of graduates leaving the higher institutions each year, the demand for time in the labour market depreciates. To Keynes, if aggregate demand is not high enough to sustain full employment level of the economy, then a gap is created between aggregate demand and aggregate supply known as the deflationary gap. This gap manifests itself in chronic unemployment which is been witnessed in Nigeria, with an unemployment rate of 19. 7% as at December, 2009. He further propounded that this gap must be closed through concerted government programmes so as to avoid unemployment.
From the foregoing it is evident that the Keynesian theory of unemployment not only explains the unemployment problem but has proffered solutions or ways of eradicating it. An Overview of the National Directorate of Employment 3. 1Introduction The worldwide economic depression of the early 80s caused a rapid deterioration in Nigerian’s economy. Industrial output shrank to an all time low and commercial activities were consequently reduced, leading to the loss of employment opportunity for many Nigerians.
By the end of 1985 the unemployment situations in Nigeria had reached desperate and alarming proportions (about 8. 5%). In the urban areas, where the educated tend to congregate, the unemployment rate was especially high. In the rural areas, it was no less severe. Graduate unemployment, which hitherto was unnoticed, emerged and was growing rapidly. The effect of such large-scale unemployment spelt disaster for both the society and individual victims. Deviant behaviours expressed in crimes and other anti-social behaviours were frequent among the frustrated youths.
The increase in crime rates and riots further created an atmosphere of general insecurity. Unemployed youths were easily susceptible to such manipulations and incitement by unscrupulous elements in the society or even politicians. It is in line with this that president Babangida appointed a committee on 26 March 1986 to deliberate on strategies for dealing with mass unemployment under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity. The report of the Chukwuma committee, as it became popularly known, was approved by the Federal Government in October 1986.
Based on its recommendations the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) was established on November 22, 1986 and its initial core programmes were formally launched on 30th January 1987. The president in his 1987 budget speech directed the new body to concentrate its effort on the reactivation of public works, promotion of direct labour, promotion of self-employment, organisation of artisans into co-operatives, and encouragement of a culture of maintenance and repairs.
To ensure effective implementation of the President’s directive, a board of Directors representing a cross section of all interest groups from industry, commerce, agriculture, finance, employers, labour and government was set-up to define policy and supervise operations. This board articulated four (4) practical programmes nationwide, each operating as a separate department. They include: a) National youth Employment and Vocational Skills Development Programme. b) Small scale industries and graduate employment programme. c) Agriculture sector employment programme d) Special public works programmes.
These programmes were backed by the necessary administrative, monitoring and support personnel, thus enabling optimum use of resources and prompt response to the requirement of the public. 3. 2Objectives of the National Directorate of Employment The objectives of the NDE were clearly Stated in Decree No. 24 of 1989 [i. e. NDE Decree (1989)] section 2 of the Decree provides for the objectives of the directorate. Thus, the NDE mandate is as follows: i) To design and implement programmes to combat mass unemployment. ii) To articulate policies aimed at developing programmes with labour intensive potentials. ii) To obtain and maintain a data bank of employment and vacancies in the country with a view to acting as a clearing house to link job seekers with vacancies. iv) To implement any other policies as may be laid down from time to time by the Board established under section 3 of its enabling act. NDE’s main function is to combat mass unemployment through skills acquisition, self-employment and labour-intensive work scheme. 4. 1Summary of discussions and findings It is no longer news that salaried jobs can no longer cater for the teaming graduates turned into the labour market from various higher institutions in Nigeria.
This has led to the search of alternative means of lively hood. One of such is the acquisition of specific skills to make graduates self-employed. It is against this backdrop that the hypothesis which States, “That skills acquisition is a prerequisite to a reduction in graduate unemployment in Kaduna State” was formed. In order to ascertain the hypothesis above, respondents were asked questions bordering on their level of acquisition vis-a-vis unemployment. The questions were answered by checking one position on two point scale of “Yes and No”. 4. 1. 1Skills
Acquired apart from Western Education Here respondents were asked if they have acquired any skill apart from the regularly western education. The responses gotten are shown in table 4. 1 below: Table 4. 1 Acquisition of Special Skills apart from Western Education Response| No. of Respondents| Percentage| Yes | 86| 59. 7| No| 58| 40. 3| Total | 144| 100| Source: Researcher’s Survey, 2010. The table above indicates that 86 respondents representing 59. 7% have acquired specific skills other than the western education while 58 respondents which represent 40. 3% have not.
This shows that specific skills acquisition is not alien to graduates in Kaduna State. 4. 1. 2Self Employment The respondents were further asked if they were presently self-employed. The following were the responses gotten: Table 4. 2: Self Employment Response| No. of Respondents| Percentage| Yes | 55| 38. 2| No| 89| 61. 8| Total | 144| 100| Source: Researcher’s Survey, 2010. Table 4. 13 depicts that 38. 2% of the respondents are self employed while 61. 8% are not. This shows that some respondents are utilizing the skills they have acquired. 4. 1. 3Nature of Self Employment
The respondents who claimed to be self-employed were asked to specify the nature of their self-employment and the following responses were gotten. i) Fashion designing ii) Farming iii) Electrical works iv) Wood work/carpentry v) Mechanized farming vi) Forest trading 4. 1. 4Acquisition of Specific Skills by Graduates in Kaduna State Many people agree that depending solely on salaried jobs is not the best. Thus, people should learn to acquire alternative sources of income. Hence, the respondents were asked: Do you think that most graduates in Kaduna State have acquired necessary skills to make them self employed?
Their responses are given below. Table 4. 3: Acquisition of Special Skills by Graduates in Kaduna State Response| No. of Respondents| Percentage| Yes | 36| 25| No| 108| 75| Total | 144| 100| Source: Researcher’s Survey, 2010. The table above shows that 36 respondents signifying 25% agreed that graduates in Kaduna State posses the necessary skill of being self employed while 108 respondents representing 75% were of the contrary view. , this shows that most gradates in Kaduna State have not acquired necessary specified skills to be self employed. 4. 1. 5Self Employment an Alternative to Salaried Job
The respondents were further asked if they agreed that self-employed in an alternative to salaried jobs. The following responses in table 4. 15 below were gotten. Table 4. 4: Employment an Alternative to salaried Jobs Response| No. of Respondents| Percentage| Yes | 136| 94. 4| No| 8| 5. 6| Total | 144| 100| Source: Researcher’s Survey, 2010. The table above indicates that 94. 4% of the respondents agreed that self-employment is an alternative to salaried jobs while 5. 6% do not agree that it is an alternative. Based on the responses gotten, it clearly shows that most people take self-employment as an alternative to salaried jobs. . 1. 6Skills Acquisition Schemes Established by the Government and Self Employment In a bid to make people become self-employed, government has put in place various schemes among which is the NDE. Thus, respondents were asked if the skills acquisition schemes put in place by the government have helped beneficiaries to become self-employed. The following were the responses gotten Table 4. 5: Skills Acquisition Schemes and Self Employment. Response| No. of Respondents| Percentage| Yes | 120| 83. 3| No| 24| 16. 7| Total | 144| 100| Source: Researcher’s Survey, 2010. From table 4. 16 above, 120 respondents representing 83. % agreed that the skills acquisition schemes put in place by government have helped beneficiaries to become self-employed while 24 respondents representing 16. 7% disagreed. 4. 1. 7Inclusion of Specific Skills Acquisition Programme in Post-Secondary School Curriculum With regards to specific skills acquisition, respondents were asked if skills acquisition programmes be included in Post-secondary schools’ curriculum and the following responses were gotten: Table 4. 6: Inclusion of specific skills acquisition programmes in post-secondary school curriculum Response| No. of Respondents| Percentage| Yes | 140| 97. 2| No| 4| 2. 8|
Total | 144| 100| Source: Researcher’s Survey, 2010. For table 4. 17 above, 140 respondents representing 97. 2% opined that specific skills acquisition programmes should be included in all post-secondary schools curriculum while 4 respondents representing 2. 8% held a contrary opinion. 4. 1. 8 Opinions about Skills Acquisition Schemes in Nigeria Respondents were asked to state their opinion on the skills acquisition schemes put in place by government and the following opinions/views were gotten: i) That the skills acquisition schemes have helped reduced unemployment not only in Kaduna State but in the country as a whole; ii)
That loan should be made available to the unemployed so that they can utilize both funds and skills together; iii) That skills acquisitions schemes should be fully implemented so that it’s aims and objectives can be accomplished; iv) That skills acquisition scheme should be well funded; v) It was also expressed that the skills acquisition schemes in Nigeria is too small compared to the population of the unemployed, thereby making it insignificant; vi) That, the skills acquisition schemes are sub-standard and need to be improved so that it can compete with those in other nations; vii) That skills acquisition helps graduate to become self employed; viii) That for skills acquisitions to succeed an adequate system that ensures the monitoring and evaluation of the scheme must be put in place; ix) That the skills acquisition schemes have been bedeviled by poor management plan, indiscipline and corruption; x) That the culture of skill acquisition should be inculcated into the citizens right form primary schools; Finally, that there should be more awareness and funding of the schemes available The table below shows a summary of the questions asked and responses gotten. 4. 2Test of Hypothesis using the Average Mean Score Method. The average mean score was used to test the Hypothesis which States: “That inadequate skills acquisition has led to an increase in graduate unemployment in Kaduna State”. Formular: X = ? p x where X=Average mean score ?p=Summation of percentages x=Total number of variables
Decision Rule: Accept Ho if average means score is 60% and above, reject Ho if average means score is less than 60%. Variables 1) Acquisition of specific skills other than western education 2) Self employment 3) Acquisition of specific skills by graduates in Kaduna State. 4) Self employment and alternative to salaried jobs 5) Skills acquisition schemes and self-employment 6) Skills acquisition and post secondary curriculum Table 4. 7: Highest Responses Variables | Responses | 1| 59. 7% of the respondents opined that they have acquired specific skills other than western education. | 2| 61. 8% of the respondents said they were not self employed. 3| 70% of the respondents were of the view that most graduates in Kaduna State have not acquired specific skills. | 4| 94. 4% of the respondents agreed that self-employment is an alternative to salaried jobs. | 5| 83. 3% of the respondents agree that skills acquisition schemes have made their beneficiaries self employed. | 6| 97. 2% of the respondents agreed that specific skills acquisition programmes should be included in post-secondary school curriculum. | Source: Researcher’s Survey, 2010. No. of Variables Percentages 159. 7 261. 8 375 494. 4 583. 3 697. 2 Total 6471. 4 ?p=471. 4= 78. 6% x 6 X = 78. 6% From the above calculation the average mean score of the Hypothesis is 78. 6%.
Going by the decision rule which States that Accept Ho if average mean score is 60% and above, our Ho which States; “that inadequate skills acquisition has led to an increase in graduate unemployment in Kaduna State” is Accepted. This implies that adequate skills acquisition will lead to a decrease in graduate unemployment in Kaduna State. 4. 3Major Findings It was discovered that Skills Acquisition is an effective tool in the reduction of graduate unemployment in Kaduna State. The researcher found out that most unemployed graduates in Kaduna State will opt for self-employment through the acquisition of specific skills, rather than wait for the non-existent salaried jobs. The researcher found out that “skill acquisition schemes” when effectively implemented will go a long way to reducing graduate unemployment not just in Kaduna State but in Nigeria as a whole.
It was also discovered that skills acquisition gives birth to small scale enterprise which in turn boost individual and national economy. As in the case of developed nations like China, Japan and even USA who started from small scale enterprises and they are world powers today. Thus, the importance of skills acquisition in unemployment reduction and by extension poverty reduction cannot be over-emphasized. 5. 1Conclusions and Recommendations As established by the study, the importance of skills acquisition cannot be overemphasized. Thus, it is recommended that learning of specific skills should be inculcated into the curriculum of the post-secondary schools of not just Kaduna State but Nigeria as a whole irrespective of the course of study.
In developed countries like the USA courses are courses such as fashion designing, automobile repairs, traffic control, animal husbandry, typesetting, catering, horticulture, swimming, memo writing, satellite installation, wood work and even cooking are included in formal school curriculum. Such compulsory electives should be imbibed in the nation thereby creating the spirit of entrepreneurship. There should be a diversification in the activities of the National Directorate of Employment. New challenging and innovative skills should be introduced from time to time. This will make it more enticing appealing for gradates to enrol, as young people like to explore new grounds. Also, specific organisation or institution should be established with the sole aim of tackling graduate unemployment.
Since unemployment cuts across various barriers (gender, class, age) and the National Directorate of Employment which is saddled with combating unemployment cannot effectively manage graduate unemployment as its resources (time, finance) are divided among other classes. Thus, giving more attention to graduate unemployment by establishing a body with the mandate of combating graduate unemployment will go a long way. References Bradley R. Schiller (2004) The Macro Economy Today 9th ed: New Delhi; McGraw Hill Irwin Companies. D. Rudiger et al (2004): Macro Economics: New Delhi; Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. Ltd. David C. Colonader (2001) Macro Economics 4th ed. : New York; McGraw-Hill Irwin.
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