Labour Market: 36 Universities To Take Part In Tracer Pilot Study

Labour Market: 36 Universities To Take Part In Tracer Pilot Study
Chris Steven, Abuja
The federal government has selected 36 universities for the pilot scheme of its new Tracer Study as part of measures aimed at building links between higher institutions of learning, their graduates and the labour market.
This was disclosed in Abuja on Thursday by the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie while speaking at the opening of a Workshop on Pilot Graduate Tracer Study jointly organized by NUC, Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) explained that the study focuses on gathering necessary information required to improve the curriculum, teaching and research in the Nigerian university system.
This was as Professor Okojie lamented that only 20 percent of Nigerian graduates data base is available to NUC.
“There is no doubt that tracing our graduates will assist the Nigerian university system in measuring the extent of professional and academic careers pursued by our graduates after gaining the necessary skills and knowledge.
We should know the whereabouts of our graduates, whom they work for and what the employers think of them, that’s employer feedback” he said
Professor Okojie who was represented at the workshop by the Deputy Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Chiedu Mafiana further stated that the tracer studies would assist in ascertaining the effectiveness and relevance of the degrees obtained from the universities to the labour market.
He said the study would help to ascertain the relevance of Nigerian university system curricula to the job functions of the graduates in their various places of work, as well as their professional development the various fields.
“The contributions of the Nigerian university system graduates in public and private sectors to the development of the Nigerian economy would also be ascertained” Professor Okojie said
The study, according to him, is focused on important sub-sectors which are the petro-chemical and steel industries stressing that the choice of the areas was in line with the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) of the federal government.
“ The outcome of the pilot study would assist students, parents, career guidance professionals and policy makers in making informed policy and career decision as well as assisting the institutions of higher learning in reviewing their curricula in order to equip subsequent graduate with the skills and knowledge needed in the labour market” he explained
Speaking at the workshop, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu said that it was pertinent for Nigerian universities to produce the skilled workforce that matches the needs of the market both in quality and quantity.

The Minister said that the survey would provide information required to evaluate the employability of graduates of science and Engineering programmes.

“A clear understanding of what happens to our graduates and how likely they are to find employment related and relevant to what they studied is a major concern” he said

The 36 universities comprise of 22 federal universities, eight state universities and six private universities among which were Ahmadu  Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna, Bayero University, Kano, University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo state, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo state, Redeemers University and American University of Nigeria, Yola among others.