Providing a practical solution to address graduate unemployment

AJIBOLA

AJIBOLA

What led to the formation of the Future Begins Now Project?

I was in part four in the University when the idea to form this organisation came to me. My mission was to reach out to young people because I discovered that most young people in secondary school do not get the right information about career choice. The idea of the organization is to guide young people on the choice of career as well as providing a platform where they can interact and exchange ideas. We also provide a platform for capacity development for young people; because I realized that apart from the normal classroom teaching, young people need a lot of capacity development talks to help them in life challenge as this will curb youth restiveness.

How long have this orgnisation being in existence?

We created this platform since 2006 while I was still at Ogun State University. In the early days, I was shuttling between Ago-Iwoye and Abeokuta organizing seminars for secondary school students on career choice as well as the need for capacity development. Over time, we’ve extended our activities to some public Secondary Schools in Lagos. that gained of the idea is to engage the students in takes that will change their minds from restive to being productive members of the society.

Response/Achievements:

I remember that some of the students still contact me after the seminar for further discussion. I always make my mobile no available to enable the students ask me questions even after the programme. In all the places we’ve held this Seminar; the response is usually overwhelming in terms of students’ participation and interaction. The major areas we encourage the students is to choose a career towards what they naturally lose to do. They need to discover themselves and build a career around their passion. In other words, you’ll be enjoying yourself and be making money at the same time.

Biggest challenge:

n running the programme, I use my personal resources to fund it in term of facilities, entertainment and getting facilitators. The question people keep asking me is what I stand to gain in all of these but my answer has always been that God has put something in me and I need to share it with other people. Don’t forget that I’ve been doing this while I was an undergraduate. The biggest challenge is getting funds to organize these seminars as well as getting like minds to help propagate this message to all the nooks of the country. We can use this platform and the programmes to empower the youth in being productive members of the society. This will also reduce the alarming rate of unemployment in the country.

Do you have any collaboration with government?

Currently all our activities are being financed by my humble self. We’ve not had any collaboration with government or any of its agencies but we will welcome any partnership or collaboration with government. At sometimes, we’ve had cause to seek government support but nothing came out of it, so I decided to go solo operating within my resources. I also implore corporate organizations to key into this platform as a way of giving back to the society.

You also wrote a book…….

Yes, “Jobs before graduation” is a practical solution to graduate unemployment. The inspiration to write the book was a result of my desire to help fresh graduates to find their bearing in the outside world. The book is intended to be distributed free of charge to undergraduates and fresh graduates nationwide. I discovered that they need continuous motivation/inspiration in my interaction with the young people and I implore the NYSC to distribute this book to Corp members. The book elaborates what graduates need to do to be useful to themselves. Ironically, the school is meant to develop intellect and not necessarily to get the certificate to get a job. The school in supposed to equip the student to utilize the opportunity around to be successful. The book also directs the students on what they need to know about life after school.

Most people complain of funding in business, what’s your take on that?

In one of the chapters of the book, it talked about getting funds for your business. The orientation in starting a business should not be for the sole purpose of making money. You’ll agree with me that anything you are passionate about can be done at no cost. You don’t need all the money to start something for yourself; start small and start with what you have. Most big brands we see today started small.

Why are you distributing the book free?

My interaction with young people over the years gave me the insight of what their challenge is. I have to put my thoughts in a book form to be able to reach as many young people as possible. I see it as a way of helping in reducing graduate unemployment in the country. This is my own little way of contributing my quota towards the development of the nation. The driving force is the joy of impacting on the lives of young people. Life is not about making money. The motivation is the joy of seeing people become useful after our seminars. The idea is to have graduates who have the skill to develop business rather than those who want to be employees.



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