Covenant Wins Nigeria Media Award for Employment, Job Creation
Covenant University has been awarded the ‘2017 Nigeria Media Award for Employment and Job Creation’ by Gidijobs, an online employment solution for job seekers and employers, for the enterprising and well-rounded academic curriculum that has distinguished graduates of Covenant from others.
Delivering a lecture titled, ‘Are we ready for Future Work? The Nigerian University Perspective’, at the 2017 Gidijobs Summit, the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, represented by the former Dean, College of Business and Social Sciences, Professor Isaiah Olurinola, noted that labour, being a major asset, was faced with lots of factors that impinged on job creation, thus causing contraction and moving over a million people, on an annual basis, into the unemployed group (http://bit./ly/at-vc-one).
Professor Atayero stated that the consequence of the digital revolution and technological advancement will continue to impact negatively on job growth. According to him, “While Artificial Intelligence and ICT advancement will keep eroding old jobs, it will at the same time create new ones, though with a higher dimension of skills levels”.
He stated that the decline of jobs, due to rapid advancement in technology, has contributed phenomenally to improvement in productivity, leading to a reduction in the proportion of the wage bill in total value added.
Professor Atayero posited that concepts such as creative destruction and innovative disruption have direct bearing on the future of the work place. “This process, incessantly on all fronts, revolutionises the economic structure from within, destroying the old one, creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism,” he said.
The professor of Communication Engineering noted that major disruptors in the education industry, as well as the labour market, are digital revolution and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which unarguably have been identified as being responsible for changing the nature and context of jobs and skills.
He noted that there are both optimistic and pessimistic views with respect to the relevance of the University System in preparing graduates for future works. However, he was of the view that AI can only cut the jobs, replace them with another form of jobs, and not eliminate human resource in the workplace.
Professor Atayero highlighted some of the strategies that universities can put in place to get their graduates ready for future work. These, according to him, include curriculum review to meet the current realities of the labour market; establishing industrial linkages; community engagement where they are located, to stay relevant; concentration on skills that are not easily automated in every programme offered by universities; and developing a hybrid of On-line and On-Campus programmes.
He espoused to the audience Covenant’s unique cultures that have over the years helped her graduates to emerge workplace ready with an entrepreneurial mindset, which has always given them an edge over their contemporaries from other institutions of learning in the this part of the world.
This will be the second employability related award that Covenant University will be carting home in 2017. It will be recalled that Stutern, a Lagos-based startup and an online platform that carries out studies on employment in Nigeria and Nigerian universities, had in its 2016 edition of 'The Nigerian Graduate Report' publication ranked Covenant University Number One in the list of Nigerian universities (both private and public) with the Most Employable Graduates.