With a high population and numerous universities in Nigeria turning out thousands of graduates each year, with no ready labour market to employ this teeming job seekers, it has become a clarion call more than ever before for “self determination”(Godwin Omena, 2012).
The trend of graduates’ unemployment is in Nigeria is presently worrisome. Many graduates do not secure employment contrary to their thought and hoped to get a white-collar job after so many years of studies in their various higher institutions in Nigeria. The uneducated ones in rural areas who supposedly would have learnt a trade or another also migrate to the urban cities looking for a white collar jobs that are non existence or in very short supply. The urge for livelihood and existence is dawning on them as a utopia, as labour scholars and social movements call on the need for apprenticeship and entrepreneurship (Hernando, 2013).
Apprenticeship has been a traditional method of acquiring skills and trades in most African and developing countries as a training for capacity building in the middle level and higher manpower, but today that trend has changed (Ariyo, 2008). Gone are the days when apprenticeship skills were learnt only by those who took it as an alternative to formal/higher education because of economic motives of low intelligence. Todays realities makes it obvious to all classes, even to universities and higher school graduates that skills acquisition through apprenticeship is the roadmap for future self employment, sustainability and development.
Apprenticeship, as it is being regulated and supervised by the old medieval guilds is not so today. Government enacts apprenticeship programs for youth empowerment, while some centuries ago, social thinkers were unanimous in their thought that apprentices, grown into artisans and entrepreneurs were to be the mainstay of the economy. This thinking is showing relevance today, with the increase in unemployment in Nigeria due to inadequate apprenticeship skill learning, regulating, enforcement and control of this process to self employment and development (Guardian Newspaper, 2012).
Apprenticeship is a way of training in the informal sector for those who were unable to get formal education that would lead to a white collar job. Today the jobs are scarce, and there is need for people to acquire skills and trades to be self reliance, employers of labour, if they do not get the official post in the government. The importance of apprenticeship in creating job opportunities for the global working population is captured in Markinson global international reports estimates that 2.9 billion jobs in the world in 2010 would be increased to 3.5billion in 2030 with majority coming from new entrepreneurship and private employment (Guardian Newspaper, 2012).
Unemployment is a great determinant of a countrys progress, so it should be taken seriously and tackled (Godwin Omene, 2012). Individuals, youths, and our young graduates must from hence fort acquire one skill or the other to be self employed entrepreneurs in the event they do not have a job ‘this is why there is major highlight on the apprenticeship and skill acquisitions that is imparting on changing global trends on self employment and labour relations in Nigeria’.
Apprenticeship education and training entails philosophy of self-reliance such as creating a new cultural and productive environment, promoting new sets of attitudes and culture for the attainment of future challenges (Arogundade, 2011). The development process of any country is determined by the way the production forces in and around the economy is organized. For most countries the development of industry had depended a great deal on the role of private sector. Apprenticeship is a call for youth’s entrepreneurship.
This opinion is supported by Ogundele (2007) that the promotion and development of entrepreneurial activities would aid the dispersal and diversification of economic activities and induce even development in a country. Similarly, Osuagwu (2006) added that entrepreneurial development in Nigeria should be perceived as a catalyst to increase the rate of economic growth, create job opportunities, reduces import of manufactured goods and decrease the trade deficits that result from such imports. Youths, graduates and nongraduates should therefore learn and practice skills acquisition for self and national development. Hence, this study seeks to investigate the effect ofApprenticeship System on Job Creation in Some Selected Small and Medium Scale Businesses in Lagos.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There has been a general outcry on the persistent rise in the unemployment rate in Nigeria. This has led an army of angry and desperate unemployed youths prowling the cities and the unending influx of youths into the urban areas which has now posed further threat to an already precarious state of national security (Hernando, 2013).
The unemployment situation has denied its victims their legitimate means of livelihood, and in order to survive, they now involved in all forms of criminality which threaten the peace of the society. The International Labour Organization indicated that 40 per cent of jobless people worldwide were young. However, government was insensitive to the plight of youths, who spend their youthful years and vigour going in search of non-existent jobs (ILO, 2012).
The informal sector which ought to be a saving grace for the unemployed has continued to suffer from comprehensive absence of Social protection, vocational education facilities, access to business friendly credits, unfair competition through dumping of manufactured goods from more industrialized countries, inadequate infrastructure, lack of representation and participation in decision-making processes resulting in unworkable, corruption prone public policies and programmes that have failed significantly to solve the problems in the informal sector.
Development experts have identified corruption and neglect of the strategic role of small and medium enterprises as some factors being responsible for the otherwise underdevelopment of the Nigeria economy. In the view of Matanmi and Awodun (2005), if Nigeria desire to move out of the disturbing high level of unemployment and ravaging level of poverty, adequate attention must be given to the growth of apprenticeship. They concluded that Nigeria still remain in the doldrums of youths unemployment because of the combination of ignorance, low capacity building and lack of encouragement of apprenticeship. It is against this backdrop that this research seeks to investigate the Effects of Apprenticeship System on Job Creation in Some Selected Small and Medium Scale Businesses in Lagos.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:
The major objective of this study is to examine the Effects of Apprenticeship System on Job Creation in the Informal Sector. While other specific objectives are:
§ To investigate the effect of skills acquisition on employment creation in the SMEs sector.
§ To examine the impact of vocational training on socio-economic development in Lagos State.
§ To identify current problems and challenges of apprenticeship in starting SMEs in Lagos State.
§ To provide plausible recommendations on how to create more jobs through apprenticeship system.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS:
This research work shall be guided by the following research questions:
1.Is there any significant relationship between apprenticeship training and job creation in the informal sector?
2.Does skills acquisition have any effect on employment creation in the SMEs sector?
3.What is the relationship between vocational training and socio-economic development of people in Lagos State?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES:
The under mentioned hypotheses will be tested in the course of the research study at 0.05 level of significance.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between apprenticeship training and job creation in the informal sector.
Hi: There is a significant relationship between apprenticeship training and job creation in the informal sector.
Ho: Skills acquisition is not a significant predictor of employment creation in the SMEs sector.
Hi: Skills acquisition is a significant predictor of employment creation in the SMEs sector.
Ho: Vocational training has no effect on socio-economic development of people in Lagos State.
Hi: Vocational training has an effect on socio-economic development of people in Lagos State.