Sterling Bank Plc and Nexford University, a United States (US) based next generation online university, have entered into a new partnership that will create global emerging markets’ talent pipeline known as “Fund Your Future” as part of Nexford’s wider ‘Learn to Earn’ for emerging markets.
Divisional Head, Health and Education sectors with Sterling Bank, Mr. Obinna Ukachukwu, who disclosed this in a statement issued by the bank, said the programme is designed to solve three major challenges of enabling employers to find qualified entry level talent, helping students with affordable access to university and giving students the skills they needed to actually get jobs.
He said “In the World Economic Forum’s index, Nigeria scored 44 percent on human capital development when measured by skills acquisition, trailing the sub-Saharan African average of 55 percent by 11 percent. Also, Nigerian employers face the most difficulties in filling managerial, professional and technical jobs due to lack of skilled applicants.”
According to him, the index also showed that 50 percent of Nigeria’s high school graduates failed to gain admission into local universities and other institutions of learning while employers across emerging markets struggle to find qualified entry-level talent and are forced to invest in expensive and time-consuming training.
The Divisional Head stated that a McKinsey survey of young people and employers in nine countries, including major developing countries, showed that 40 percent of employers noted a lack of skills was the main reason for entry level job vacancies while 60 percent said new graduates were not adequately prepared for the world of work.
Ukachukwu remarked that the benefits of the partnership for Sterling Bank are multiple. “First is access to student talent. The students are given an education specifically tailored to the bank’s corporate needs. This saves Sterling Bank money on current early stage training to upskill graduates to the required level. Nexford’s competency-based curriculum also provides Sterling Bank with multiple data points to evaluate applicants’ qualifications, thus saving time on filtering large numbers of applications and the wider recruitment process.”
Chief Executive Officer of Nexford University, Fadl Al Tarzi, said “We are delighted to partner with an institution privileged to have such forward thinking leadership. This is a perfect match and surely the first of many such partnerships.