It is no longer news that most Nigerian youths no longer want to undertake apprenticeship to acquire skills and learn a trade.
The surprise is the rate at which they negotiate their pay when business owners (who needed apprentices but could not get) wish to engage their services in replacement of apprentices. They demand outrageous and unbelievable pay.
My mum runs a thriving Cosmetics Store in a big market in Ibadan, Nigeria. In the 80s and 90s, she depended on us; her children and apprentices as her workforce but in the 2000s there was a dearth of apprentices. She had no choice than to engage secondary school leavers in her workforce.
These ‘zombies’ (age ranging from 18-22) ask for pays ranging from 10,000NGN to 15,000NGN when those who are skilled in some trades are earning the same rate at some organizations. These individuals; male and female most times do not know how to read and write effectively. Even the primary and secondary drop-outs (who do not want to be apprentices) are not left out in such bargains.
The emergence of GSM Telephony in Nigeria was what gave way to the dearth of apprentices which was prominent in the early 2000s with the introduction of Commercial Telephone Call Centers and Recharge Card Sales Outlets/Hawking.
Nowadays, after agreeing with the incredible pay demand of the employees, my mum still found every employee stealing either goods or cash. She changes them like her under-wears. She operates an open-market-store where it is somehow difficult to curtail their pilfering.
With this development, I have great fear for the future of Nigeria if this continues.