Chris Ngige has said Nigerians see blue collar jobs as a form of employment they are bigger than and do not attend too many vocational training.
The Minister of Labour and Employment is of the opinion that the high rate of joblessness can be decreased if more Nigerians see blue collar jobs are jobs that attracts respect.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), unemployment rate in Nigeria is at a pitiful 23.1% at the end of Q3, 2018.
Chris Ngige said, “It (unemployment) was an issue and that was why we did an advocacy and told people not to look at only the white collar jobs. There are blue collar jobs. Skills. You have to train your hands. You have to do plumbing, carpentry, tailoring.
“We had to do the vocational skills policy. The NDE (National Directorate of Employment), one of my parastatals, has at least three or four vocational skills programmes.
“We have our specialist skills centres in Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, Bauchi, Calabar, Warri, Enugu, and all over the federation.
“We now have many in collaboration with the state governments. We send them people to train them. And people come in there as apprentice and after we finish with them, we empower them.
“But the problem is that, how many people are ready to come there and train?
“They regard those jobs as jobs that don’t befit people’s status, but it’s not true. We’re counselling people that going to do these jobs doesn’t make you an inferior person.
“But here, everybody wants a (white) collar job. They want to stay in air-conditioned office. They want to work in the bank or oil companies and nothing less than that.”
“What I have to tell you is that first and foremost, job creation is not only for the government. It’s not only the government that creates all the jobs.
“As a matter of fact, most of the jobs created are supposed to be in the private sector. But you know in Nigeria, we have an obtuse arrangement here and everybody is looking for white collar jobs. You have gradations in the job sector.”
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