|BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT|
Unemployment has become a major challenge in the country and is responsible for a lot of violence and security challenges. With all of the multinational companies and industries that are in Rivers State one begins to wonder why the rate of unemployment is so high in this environment of industrial activity. The interventions of the RSSDA will go some way to mitigate this issue plaguing the indigenes of Rivers State by providing Skills development programmes, Overseas Scholarships, and Graduate Work Experience Schemes; all with the aim of making Rivers Indigenes more attractive candidates for employment.
In addition to these interventions the Job Fair was conceptualized as an initiative that will bring together employers and applicants in Rivers State. Obtaining the buy in from various companies in the Oil and gas sector, Telecommunications, and Banking sectors will help in giving Rivers indigenes a viable opportunity to ascertain the recruitment requirements set by these companies, and to eventually gain an employment opportunity.
It is the desire of RSSDA to partner with various private and public sector institutions in an effort to seek their participation in the Job Fair initiative. Companies willing to participate in the Job Fair will work with RSSDA cooperatively in achieving the goal of reducing unemployment amongGraduants in the state by providing employment opportunities to highly qualified and highly skilled Graduants of Rivers origin .
The level of unemployment in Rivers State today has reached an alarming level. Every year graduates are produced from the educational institutions to find that there are very limited employment opportunities out there for job seekers. In many cases when companies begin their recruitment process, thousands of applicants are queuing for just a handful of positions.
The Rivers State Government through the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency has made many efforts to intervene in the unemployment crisis which is currently affecting the state. The Overseas Scholarship scheme will enable hundreds of Rivers youths to get internationally recognized degrees in medically related courses, Natural sciences, Economics, Engineering, ICT, and other high demand fields with the goal of making those students highly sought after candidates for employment upon completion of their programmes. The Graduate Work Experience Placement Scheme (GWEPS) is aimed at providing recent graduates with 2 years working experience in various organizations. In the event they are not retained in those organizations, they will be more employable elsewhere due to the valuable experience they have gained working over the stipulated 24 monthsperiod.
In addition to these initiatives, the Job fair was conceptualized with the view of improving the employment situation forRivers indigenes, specifically among those who haveparticipated in our various Human Capital Development schemes. There is an absence of a forum where graduates can interact and discuss employment opportunities with leading job providers, the Job Fair will be that forum for interaction and complement the strides that have already been made in making the beneficiaries of our Human Capital Developmental schemes more attractive candidates for employment. The need to ensure that Rivers people get proper information on employment opportunities around them in order to better prepare them to take full advantage of these opportunities in the near future has also necessitated this initiative.
The primary purpose of this initiative is therefore to provide a forum where beneficiaries of RSSDA scholarship schemes, skills development programmes, applicants of the GWEPS programme can liaise and explore potential employment opportunities with participating companies and the government both at the State and national levels.
The project therefore is one of the tools identified as a key contributor to reducing graduate unemployment in the state.
•The lack of a fully established interaction forum such as the job fair between employers and job seekers
•Lack of information regarding the hiring processes within many organizations.
•Inability of Scholarship and Skills development beneficiaries and GWEPS beneficiaries to find adequate employment opportunities.
•Underutilization of businesses that partner with RSSDA in terms of recruitment of RSSDA Scholarship beneficiaries.
•Lack of accurate labor statistics, rates of unemployment vs. underemployment, and available jobs in the state and nation.
•No manpower development plan or scheme in the state.
•The lack of employment opportunities for indigenous persons within multinational companies operating in the region.