Unemployment: Learn a trade after school, expert urges youths

By Cecilia Ijuo

Mr Daniel Onoja, an expert in Cinematography and Multimedia, has urged the youth, especially those still studying to prepare for life after school by learning a trade.

Onoja, who is the Chief Executive Officer of E&D Production and Creativity Concept, a creative company, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) in Abuja.

The expert, who expressed concern over rising unemployment rate in Nigeria, advised the youth not to depend on white collar jobs, saying available vacancies could not cater for everyone.

He called on them to learn a trade while studying in school to turn their creativity into money making venture upon graduation.

While noting that it was important to be educated, he said that relying solely on certificate after graduation might be frustrating due lack of desired jobs.

Onoja, also a consultant said, “what we always hear is that Nigerians are so talented but very few of these talented persons have been able to monetise their talents.

“I advise fresh graduates not to wait too long to discover that there might be nothing too much out there when it comes to the white collar jobs.

“The jobs available are far less than the people who are graduating from school everyday.

“Also, the society that we are in today, someone needs to know another person who recommends people for these jobs and so the competition is high.”

Onoja said his company recently held a training, which among other things, targeted persons with no idea of what business to start, how to start and where to start.

“We have growing cases of students graduating from school and moving from one office to another in search of jobs that are not readily available.

“Unfortunately, some of them have wasted precious years that would have been turned into productive venture,” he said.

Speaking on how to start small, Onoja advised youths not to wait until they have huge capital or office space.

He said start-ups could work from home rather than looking for money to rent offices.

According to him, youths can start with simple devices at their disposal, while leveraging on social media to grow their clientele.

“So, because you have N500, 000 as a start-up, you cannot throw everything into a business to do what the people in the big industry do.

“You do not have to go rent office space at this point because you do not have the capacity for that yet.

“For instance, as a photographer instead of an office why not get a camera and a laptop first.

“Another very important factor to note as a start-up is that people want to see what you have done, so you need to build a profile for yourself even from the little you do.

“Experience is very critical and that is why in the big industries they ask for five or more years working experience before hiring,” he said.

The expert further harped on the critical role of mentorshorship, apprenticeship and collaboration in growing businesses.

“Through mentorship, one gets exposed to a circle of people already generating revenue and this means learning about how people get jobs in their chosen career.

“Apprenticeship is also key as one first needs to be an apprentice to become a master.

“Do not be proud to study under somebody because of your level of education as it will not demean you but bring out the potential in you.

“The South East business system of apprenticeship is now being studied in universities abroad because it is working.

“So, apprentice is not slavery, as some apprentices eventually do better than their mentors.

“Equally, collaboration is important as it helps to show clients what one has done and this will help build one’s Curriculum Vitae,” he said.

Onoja urged the youth to make good use of the media space other than showcasing lovely dresses and nice hair cuts.

On excuse of lack of time to develop ones talent, Onoja said time spent on phones chit-chatting and watching movies for over four hours a day could be converted to learning a trade.

Onoja said with reports of the world likely to get into further recession, everybody need to be stronger and have something meaningful doing.(NAN)

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