Hundreds of thousands of students graduate each year from the over 600 universities in Africa. This notwithstanding, there is a conundrum – with many employers lamenting glaring skills gaps on one hand, and persistent youth unemployment on the other. The mismatch between skills training and job-requirements in-part explains why about 10 million African graduates have still not found jobs.
The phenomenon of “unemployed graduates” is widespread in Africa. In many countries, a large number of graduates from the formal school system, including university graduates, are unemployed, although the economy still has opportunities for skilled workers. This condition is referred to as “Skills Mismatch” and it is defined as the gap between the skills required on the job and those possessed by individuals. It is imperative that the educational and training service provides deliberately bridge the gap between the labour and skills demand, and the learning scope and content that they provide to students.
WAVE describes the high youth unemployment rate in West Africa and the insufficient preparation of youth (16 – 30 years old) in schools and universities to participate and compete in the job market as the core motivation for starting the organization.