"The programme will place 20,000 young Nigerians annually in private and public sector organisations across the country."
President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP), which is a graduate employment initiative led by the Federal Government of Nigeria, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU).
President Buhari made the announcement on Tuesday, 31 August 2021, at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, and explained that, “An important part of our policies and strategies is to focus on employment and creating opportunities for young Nigerians. The Jubilee Fellows Programme will create new opportunities for 20,000 recent graduates annually and I encourage all eligible Nigerians to apply. I also urge private and public sector organizations across the country to join us by providing work placement opportunities, mentors, and funding to support the program. I thank the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union for their support on this vital initiative”.
The NJFP aims to match 20,000 highly skilled graduates annually with yearlong job placements in public and private sectors across multiple industries. The programme application process starts on Monday, 6 September, and it is open to graduates and organisations that fit the requirements found here.
In attendance at the official launch was the Vice President of Nigeria, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, His Excellency, Mr. Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo CON.
Other development partners who attended the event included the Chargé d'Affaires a.i Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, His Excellency, Alexandre Borges Gomes, United Nations Resident Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon and the UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Mohamad Yahya.
According to one 2019 estimate, about 25 million graduates remain unemployed across the country. The NJFP aims to create a channel between graduates and industry, to help address this employment gap by identifying the emerging skills that companies need most, while guiding graduates to be more prepared for a constantly evolving work environment.
The NJFP will champion homegrown Nigerian talent and opportunities by connecting organizations directly to graduates. The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways and made it even more difficult for young graduates entering the job market as well as for organizations looking for new talent. Through the NJFP, both graduates and organizations will get a boost in a changing post-COVID job landscape.
In his remarks, the Chargé d'Affaires a.i at the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Alexandre Borges Gomes said: “The EU sees itself as being at the forefront of promoting youth focused, and youth led, development. We see the young as change-makers, essential to the implementation of the Development Agenda and stand ready to assist Nigeria in keeping the young as an asset. This is why we are committing to support the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme.”
This fellowship is designed to help fresh NYSC graduates with zero work experience, who often find it challenging to break into the professional world. The long-term goal would be for the Fellows to feel that they are playing a meaningful part in growing the private and public sector landscape, helping to shape the future of Nigeria.
“Through the Jubilee Fellows Programme, young Nigerians will access skills that will help them to navigate in an evolving job market. By creating a channel between graduates and companies, the programme will help identify the emerging skills that companies need most, while guiding graduates to be more prepared to make impact, influence decisions and re-imagine future-proof skills” said UNDP Resident Representative Mohamed Yahya. “We look forward to seeing the inspiring young talent of this country leverage this programme to continue to make positive change and impact in their communities”.