Some businesses, notably in the banking sector, are being forced to lower their academic requirements for their recruiting processes as a result of the ongoing talent drain from Nigeria, sometimes known as “japa” (a Yoruba word meaning “run quickly”).
Access Bank, First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), First City Monument Bank (FCMB), and Polaris Bank have lowered the minimum eligibility requirements for their 2022 graduate trainee programmes from the second-upper class (2.1) and first class grades that were previously required from job-seekers, according to BusinessDay findings from a survey of job listings from recruitment websites.
For instance, FCMB’s Executive Trainee Program requires a minimum of second-class lower in any field, Access Bank’s entry-level tech program requires a minimum of second-class lower, and GTB’s entry-level program requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from a respected university.
For their graduate trainee programs, Polaris Bank and First Bank both require a minimum of a B.Sc. (second class) or Higher National Diploma (upper credit) in any discipline.
The banks are attempting to widen their recruitment net, which will help cut youth unemployment, which is at an all-time high of 42 percent, according to human resource specialists and analysts, who say that this latest effort is excellent for Africa’s largest economy.
According to Jennifer Oyelade, head of Transquisite Consulting, “They have realized that they can’t keep selecting applicants based on theory alone, if they have never examined their competency.”
In an effort to uncover the underdogs who can lead the flock, they are widening their search to include neglected talent, according to Oyelade.
According to Olamide Adeyeye, head of research at Jobberman Nigeria, it is significant that banks are lowering their hiring standards.
Organizations are under pressure due to the skill shortage, Adeyeye added, “(for them to) start considering second class lower pupils in their recruitment process.”
The National Bureau of Statistics reports that out of 23.2 million unemployed people as of 2020, those in the 15- to 34-year-old age range have a higher number (12.8 million), compared to the older group (35- to 64-year-olds), which has 10.5 million.
Oludayo Sokunbi, the CEO of Japa Consults, commented on the reasons why banks are now looking for the minimum grade by stating that students with first-class and upper-class grades have a better chance of receiving international scholarships than those with lower-class marks.
Because they had a smaller possibility of receiving scholarships, Sokunbi asserted, “those with lower class have a higher retention rate.” Companies have learned, he continued, that as long as a person is willing to learn, their grades do not determine who they are.
Since some of them may have participated in extracurricular activities at school that could have impacted their chances of receiving better grades, they have found that persons with lower grades are more adaptable to the workplace and have a wider range of skills, according to Sokunbi.
Many Nigerians, particularly the youth, are being forced to leave the nation in drones as a result of the severe economic hardship, which has been made worse by rising inflation, unemployment, and insecurity, among other factors.
Nigeria was ranked as the 11th most wretched nation in the world out of 156 nations in a 2021 Hanke’s Misery Index.
Festus Okotie, chief executive officer at Bernard Hall Nigeria Limited, noted that the workforce’s education and training can have a significant impact on how well our economy performs. However, reports indicate that the current economic situation has led to an increase in the number of Nigerian skilled workers who have migrated or who plan to migrate abroad.
High-skilled Nigerians with advanced degrees have been moving abroad on employment and study visas. For instance, statistics from the British government reveals that from 20,427 in the same period of 2021 to 65,929 in June 2022, the number of Nigerians awarded student visas surged by 222.8 percent, the greatest amount in four years.
Nigerians received 15,772 skilled work visas in June 2022, an increase of 109.1 percent. Nigerians were granted 13,745 study visas in Canada in 2021, up from 10,550 in 2020, a growth of 30.3%.
“Last month, a coworker of mine went to complete his Form A. One Twitter user, @McMyer, stated via his handle, “Inside the banking hall with roughly 8 young bankers, 4 of them already received admittance for January intake; three are planning for next September while just one indicated she doesn’t have the finances now.
According to leadership development consultant Kemi Ogunkoya, organizations must begin reconsidering because they cannot win the war on “japa.”