National Conference on Employment Promotion

The  National Conference on Employment Promotion was held on the 12th -13th October at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja. The Conference was themed “Addressing the challenges of employment and reintegration at the national and subnational levels in the post COVID-19 era: Impact and Policy Response”. The event took a hybrid approach with sub-national level stakeholders converging in one location in Lagos, Edo, Ogun and Plateau while many others joined globally. The National Conference on Employment Promotion is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment with support from the International Labour Organisation, under the framework of the Promoting Employment in Nigeria ‘PEN Project’,  as well as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Nigeria under the SEDEC cluster- Skills Development for Youth Employment (SKYE) Programme, Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria (SEDIN) Programme and Programme Migration for Development PME.

The conference objectives amongst others were to take stock of the labour market situation in Nigeria, taking into consideration the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; discuss the policy framework for sustainable employment promotion post-COVID-19 in Nigeria towards recommending appropriate policy and strategy responses on employment promotion; examine the implication of COVID-19 on migration and reintegration measures in Nigeria; To share global best practices, experiences and strategies in employment promotion, labour market and reintegration issues. The conference featured paper presentations and about six-panel discussions focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market, employment promotion and re-integration. These discussions were held from varying perspectives – youth employment, impact on MSMEs, labour market information system, the creative sector and multi-stakeholder collaboration.

At the end of the two-day conference, stakeholders agreed that the following were needed to be addressed as soon as possible.

  •  The need for multi-level, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholders collaboration in addressing unemployment.
  • The implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disability Prohibition Act 2018.
  • Mass Youth capacity building and harnessing of the growing creative industry in Nigeria.
  • The identification of viable industrial clusters such as leather as means to generate employment.
  • Revision of the education curriculum to reflect up to date skills and knowledge for employable graduates.
  • Strengthened cooperation between state and non-state actors for effective reintegration.
  • Upscaling on the decent jobs initiative for increased job security.

The two-day event came to an end with stakeholders agreeing that to address the challenges around employment and reintegration, there should be a multi-level, multi-sectoral and multistakeholder collaboration that will reach the country’s youthful population and take into consideration gender and the disadvantaged groups in the society.