ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS AND JOB CREATION PROSPECT IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
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This study determined the strength of entrepreneurship skills towards job creation prospect among vocational education undergraduate students in University of Uyo. Nigeria is presently faced with a lot of challenges among which are poverty, graduate unemployment, crime, and other social vices, which are as a result of economic meltdown or unsustainable development in the country, which demands urgent attention. Four hypothesis were tested at 0.05 confidence level while 200 students from Vocational Education Department formed the subjects. The study reveals that students’ participation in the entrepreneurship education during their undergraduate education stimulates the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills. Entrepreneurial skills of vocational education students are lower compared to technical education students. Diversification of instructional approach in teaching entrepreneurship education was recommended, especially the use of experiential learning methods interchangeably with the conventional style.
1.1 Background of the Study
Many countries of the world have resolve to focus on their domestic economy, due to the current political, economic, and social influence of the global economic meltdown. The recent global economic meltdown has brought to the limelight, as well as the reality, that the world is a global market (Banabo & Ndiomu, 2011). The total number of Nigerians estimated to be officially unemployed in 2011 is estimated at 14 million as against 12 million in 2010. Majority of those captured as unemployed are youth within the age brackets of 15-24 years and 25-44 years (National Bureau of Statistics, 2011). Unemployment is rampant in Nigeria like other nations because of mismatch between the need of employers and stock of job-specific human capital produced by educational training institutions (Simkovic, 2012). To douse the rising wave of mediocrity in a country, there is need for good and quality vocational education to reduce the risk of unemployment, create jobs, improve productivity, increases wages, increase technological innovation and economic growth (Olaniyan & Okemakinde, 2008; Simkovic, 2012).
Presently, the demands in the world of work are constantly and rapidly undergoing changes. This has made many workplaces to adopt new dimensions and magnitudes of job skills for their prospectus employees. Today’s Job places, including Personal business organizations require a well technical expertise that is entrepreneurial trained for the fast changing global economy(Essia, 2012; Seet & Seet, 2006). This has proven the need for a well groomed entrepreneur worker. It is vividly lamented in numerous parts of the literature that entrepreneurial competencies are fast becoming the critical issues for ascertaining who to engage and who to retain in many job places all over the world (Adeyemo, 2009; Badran, 2007; Grubor, 2013; Morrison & Johnston, 2003).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The hybrid approaches of learning-by-doing combine conventional instruction with collaboration with real business people may perhaps produce students’ entrepreneurial behaviours, mindsets, capabilities and skills to create visionary entrepreneurs particularly in this 21st century (Heinonen & Poikkijoki, 2006). These claims have made some reasonable number of entrepreneurship educators in many parts of the world to support this approach of instruction. Hence, this innovation remains out of place specifically, in vocational education practice in Nigeria. A major defect in the Nigerian educational system, inclusive of the universities, is its theoretical inclination. For one instance, most Nigerian universities produce graduate who are at best only suited for white collar jobs and have little or no basic skills of any other vocational relevance. Naturally, such a situation will lead to high unemployment rate especially among university graduates (Ejere & Tende, 2012). Oviawe (2010) had reiterated the massive unemployment of Nigerian universities graduates in the country and had traced the problem to the disequilibrium between labour market requirements and lack of essential employable skills by the graduates.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine entrepreneurship skill and job creation prospect in vocational education students. Specifically, the study seeks to;
- Ascertain how entrepreneurial, technical and vocational skills can enhance students’ entrepreneurial skills in University of Uyo.
- Investigate the prospect of repositioning entrepreneurship skills as a strategy for job creation and boosting employability in Nigeria.
- Investigate the perceived impact of entrepreneurial skills on career development among vocational education undergraduates in University of Uyo.
- To proffer solutions to the problems of unemployment, poverty and job creation in Nigeria via entrepreneurship education.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
To guide the study the following research hypothesis were generated:
H0: Entrepreneurship education cannot help in the acquisition of skills relevant to students’ career choice.
H1: Entrepreneurship education can help in the acquisition of skills relevant to students’ career choice.
H0: The skills acquired in entrepreneurship education are not relevant to self-employment.
H2: The skills acquired in entrepreneurship education are relevant to self-employment.
1.5 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated by the research to guide the study;
- Can entrepreneurship education help in the acquisition of skills relevant to students’ career choice?
- Are the skills acquired in entrepreneurship education relevant to self-employment?
- Does entrepreneurship education help in ensuring that individuals fit into diverse careers based on skills acquired?
- To what extent will entrepreneurship education provide training that will make undergraduates creative and innovative?
- What are the future prospects in Entrepreneurial skills acquisition to vocational education students?
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is significant to the following category of people at the completion of the study. The findings of this study will facilitate the development of entrepreneurial skills and aptitudes in vocational education students, which in turn will motivate the propensity for job creation and reduction in graduate unemployment. This study is important to policy makers and stakeholders in Nigeria regarding the design of an entrepreneurship curriculum that can enhance the development of viable business ideas by students of Nigerian Universities. The result of this study will provide a guide for university managements on the formulation and implementation of policies, consistent with engagement in innovative activities and entrepreneurial development of undergraduates in Nigerian universities. To researchers, the findings will contribute to existing knowledge in entrepreneurial skills literature, by developing an intention model that will be useful for researchers in undertaking further research on related areas of study
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study on entrepreneurial skills and job creation prospect in vocational education will limit its study to undergraduate students from university of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State. There were some constraints tending to interrupt the flow of this study such as;
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Respondents Reluctance: In most cases the students and lecturers of the university often feels reluctance over providing required information required by the researcher. This results in finding information where the structured questionnaires could not point out.
Researcher’s Commitment: The researcher, being of full time student spent most of her time on other academic activities such as test, class work, assignment, examination etc which takes average focus from this study.
Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also a major hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to lay hands on several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Entrepreneurial: having to do with the creation and development of economic ventures: of, relating to, characteristic of, or suited to an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small business. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs
Skill: Skill is the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance; dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks.
Vocational education: Vocational education is education that prepares people to work as a technician or in various jobs such as a trade or a craft. Vocational education is sometimes referred to as career education or technical education.
Entrepreneurship education: Entrepreneurship education seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of settings. Variations of entrepreneurship education are offered at all levels of schooling from primary or secondary schools through graduate university programs
Unemployment: Unemployment, or joblessness, is a situation in which able-bodied people who are looking for a job cannot find a job. The causes of unemployment are heavily debated
Undergraduates: Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and prior to post-graduate education. It typically includes all the academic programs up to the level of a bachelor’s degree.
1.9 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter. Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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