Labour Market Core Skills Requirements And University Graduate Soft Skills Competence In North-west Nigeria

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One of the challenges facing university graduates is unemployability. This is because university graduates have generally been described as poorly-trained and are deficient in employability skills. This study investigated labour market core skills requirements and university graduate soft skills competence in North-west, Nigeria. The objectives of the study were to: rnA correlational research design was adopted for the study. Purposive sampling technique was used to select four states for the study. Purposive sampling technique was used to select 306 out of 1,212 top management staff from educational, commercial, science and technology industries in the Selected States (Zamfara, Jigawa, Katsina and Kaduna). The instrument used for the study was a validated researcher-designed questionnaire with a test re-test reliability index of 0.89. Descriptive statistics of percentage and mean scores were used to analyse the demographic data of the participants and to answer the research questions, while Pearson Product-Moment Correlation statistic was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.rnThe findings of the study were that:rni. employers of labour (in public and private sectors): required university graduates from different areas of specialisations, most especially from Science and Technology more than Education, Social Sciences and Arts (36.6%); required university graduates with 1st class honours in few cases while in most cases required graduates with 2nd class upper, 2nd class lower division and third class (30.7%); also, required university graduates with 5-9 years of work-related experiences (37.9%) than the others;rnii. the soft skills competence levels of university graduates in communication, analytical and entrepreneurial skills were low with mean scores of 1.86, 1.81 and 1.71, respectively; while basic computer and interpersonal skills were moderate (mean scores = 2.18 and 2.12, respectively); and, rniii. there was a significant relationship between labour market core skills requirements and universirnThis study concluded that university graduates soft skills competence level in North-west was low and the implication of this is that the Nigerian universities needed to focus more on developing graduates soft skills. This study recommended that more emphasis should be placed on the soft skills competence of graduates and the curricular content of every area of specialisation should be reviewed to be more activity-based in meeting the skills required by employers of labour.

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Labour Market Core Skills Requirements And University Graduate Soft Skills Competence In North-west Nigeria

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