Will NYSC CV/jobs portal deliver?

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Stakeholders are excited by the launch of a CV jobs portal by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). They say it will provide opportunities for corps members because of its data gathering potential. But there is need for continuous collaboration between NYSC and its partners to strengthen the deal, reports KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE.

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and some partners have launched a CV bank and jobs portal (nyscjobs.org) for Corps members.

The portal allows Corps members to upload their curriculum vitae (CV) and employers to post vacancies and screen candidates.

It was developed by the NYSC’s Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) in conjunction with Diamond Bank, Dragnet, Blogme, Gr8tjobs.ng and Sigma Pensions.

Speaking at the event, NYSC Director-General, Brig Gen Suleiman Kazaure expressed the hope that the platform would boost the chances of Corps members in getting a job faster.

“Despite the obvious difficulty of securing white collar jobs and the overriding benefits of self-employment, a good number of our graduates are still inclined to trying their lucks with paid employment. This is why management considers it appropriate to buy into the idea of helping corps members to package themselves for employability in the highly competitive labour market.

“The portal we are launching today will, among other benefits, serve as a platform for Corps members to get information on job vacancies and market themselves to prospective employers, serve as a large pool for employers searching for suitable candidates, and provides means of verification of credentials,” he said.

With last Friday’s launch, the portal became a national platform for corps members serving in the nooks and crannies of Nigeria to showcase their skills and experience.

The initiative is a product of many years’ labour.  In an interview with The Nation, the NYSC State coordinator, Prince Mohammed Momoh, said the idea was first suggested by some corps members who tried to implement it but were limited by the one-year tenure of the service and technical expertise required.

SAED Assistant Director Mrs Rachael Idaewor said the involvement of private sector partners gave life to the idea.

Value for corps members

The CV and Jobs portal allows corps members to register, upload their CVs and update with skills, certifications and experiences they acquire in the first two years after graduation.  Me Baba Ikazaboh, Managing Director of Dragnet, said corps members would do themselves a disservice if they did not make good use of the opportunity.

“There are 350,000 corpers also responsible for making it successful.  They need to almost on a daily or weekly basis be on the portal updating their CVs,” he said.

He also said with employers knowing the platform is specifically for corps members, they (corps members) could be sure of job vacancies that would not require long years of experience that they would not have.  He added that the partners have also ensured that vacancies are dated and removed when old so corps members do not apply for taken jobs.

The portal also allows corps members to post short videos that encapsulate their skills, competencies, experiences and qualifications.  Mr Andre Ugbebor of Blogme who did a presentation on the Video CV feature, said it gives the corps members a face that allows employers to make better decisions about the kind of candidates they are looking for.

Mr Arek Bawa, managing director of Blogme, said it was an ultimate opportunity for corps members to put their best foot forward.

“You need to distinguish yourselves; you need a platform to show off so employers notice you.  Employers know about your knowledge.  But what other skills do you have?  What aer your soft skills?  Are you a team player?  Do you have problem solving skills?

Lauding the initiative and partnership, head, Retail Banking, Diamond Bank, Robert Hill, said the portal was a good response to what young people wanted based on research by the bank.

“The youths are really important to us. We cannot ignore 60 per cent of the population. They are the people we need to be helping. It is great to see the NYSC helping youths to showcase themselves,” he said.

 

Value for Employers

At the click of a button, the portal gives employers access to a database of over 350,000 fresh talents for entry-level jobs at no cost.

They are allowed to register, submit company profiles, post job vacancies and filter according to their specific requirements.

Mrs Omomene Odike, CEO of Gr8tjobs.ng, said the portal addressed the yearnings of recruiters who had sought for years a veritable database of qualified graduates.

To her, it is a shift from the analogue way of doing things to embrace the advantages technology can offer.

She said: “Being an entrepreneur on my own and also a top recruiting firm, it is always very difficult to have data.  People complain in Nigeria we need jobs, but at the end of the day we don’t have one central database.  You get them in bits and pieces and at the end of the day, some of them are outdated such that by the time you call them you find out that they have been in the system for over 10 years so they are not even entry level but they don’t have jobs. But this CV portal and NYSC initiative means once people just graduate from school, it means they are fresh, it means they have just entered the system.

“So it is a very clean way and very structured way for us to have candidates that are just coming into the work force and of course a database that we can verify because nobody who is not a corps member could actually register because you have also have to register with your NYSC codes.  It is huge and we don’t have to scratch our brains go everywhere looking for candidates to employ.”

While the big recruiters are excited by the huge data the portal would generage, Ikazaboh said the value for small-scale employers was even more as they would not have to pay so much to get qualified people to run their businesses.  He urged even corps members starting businesses to use the platform to recruit workers.

“Employers need to be on the portal to put your vacancies there.  It doesn’t cost you money.  For the SMEs that are just starting up you cannot afford expensive recruitment companies.  Here is a portal that allows you do it free.  Use it; save some cost,” he said.

Is success certain?

Parties to the deal, the NYSC, employers and Corps members, have lauded the initiative.  However, whether it will fulfil its potential as such is another matter.

Mrs Odike said without all partners playing their roles, the portal would not come alive.

“This portal will eliminate waste of time and paperwork. But all three stakeholders must play their parts – the corps members must upload their CVs, the NYSC must sustain the portal, and the employers must post job vacancies. Technology does not work on its own. It is people that make technology work,” she said.

Ikazaboh added: “It is really team work – employers, the employees and the NYSC – that is what will make it work.”

Awareness about the portal among corps members, especially Batch B, who completed their orientation on Monday, is still low.  About five corps members interviewed by The Nation in Lagos said they knew nothing about the portal.

However, older corps members said they were aware.  One of them, Marvelous Ehima, said they had been told to register.

“They told us about it.  I have not registered but I intend to do so.

Mrs Idaewor said the corps members would be encouraged to upload their CVs.

She promised to ensure that corps members signed up.

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