Universities and employers must work together to promote youth employment in Africa
The Director of The Education Collaborative, Rose Dodd, shares vital challenges and some solutions to youth unemployment issues in Africa.
Over the years, unemployment issues in Africa have been on the rise. Africa’s youth population continues to increase against the number of available employment opportunities after graduating from the university.
One barrier preventing young people from gaining employment after graduation in sub-Saharan Africa is the disconnect between their skillset and what is needed in the job market. Many young people don’t know how to find a job and how to be successful once they gain employment. The fact remains that, there aren’t enough jobs and even in the future, jobs that already exist will become fewer as graduates keep increasing in numbers.
This could also be attributed to the lack of entrepreneurial skills. Although not everybody should be entrepreneurs because not everyone would be good at creating jobs, those who are interested should be encouraged and prepared by the university.
We must take a systems approach to prepare young people for employment by improving career services in universities. This is why our collaboration with ESSA is important as we will give higher education institutions in Africa a place to start in determining what is important when it comes to career and employability services and how to measure it in connection with employers. African universities and employers need to continuously work together to teach students relevant job skills for employment.
We need to start preparing young people for careers and not just jobs. A lot of people graduate and they just want to get a job but we need a shift change for people to think long-term. The end goal needs to be growing a career by succeeding in any role.
Universities and employers must work together. We haven’t been doing that as efficiently as we should, so that’s something that we must begin working on now.
Rose's story also features in our 5th Anniversary Report