By Steve Agbota
The Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment (MWCE) of the Lagos State government has put machinery in place to train about 2,000 vulnerable employed graduates on employability skills through graduate internship programme this year.
The MWCE was established in fulfilment of the government’s promise to address the unemployment crisis in the state. The Ministry is partnering MacTay Consulting to bridge the skill gap among unemployed Lagos State residents to enable youths take up existing jobs in various sectors of the economy through provision of different employability training and mentorship.
Speaking at a breakfast roundtable with stakeholders to chart way forward on reduction of unemployment in the state, the Commissioner for MWCE, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, said the internship programme was designed to provide a unique opportunity for graduates in the state to improve and enhance their formal education acquired knowledge and skills with first-hand workplace skills and experience.
According to him, employability skills are often vital in securing employment; prospective employers are looking beyond what graduates have achieved academically. Globally, there is evidence that internships improve employability and harness a broader range of life-skills.
He said the Ministry, in an attempt to bridge the gap, has proposed a three-month paid internship programme for graduates not older than 30 years with one year post NYSC, to prepare them for the workforce. The Lagos State government, through MWCE, would be paying the interns N25,000 within the three months of the internship.
He said the programme, which will involve private sectors in mentoring and guiding the interns, will enable the teeming youths to become more responsible and able to stand on their own by giving them opportunity in the area of employability and entrepreneurship.
Speaking on the sustainability of the programme, the commissioner said the MWCE was creating enabling environment and working with the private sector to rekindle trust in government. He added: “We are not the ones to direct. When you kick-start something, government should capitalise on it. Government cannot hold on to what should be the responsibility of the private sector.”