Sharpening the Employability Skills of Nigerian Youth through Entrepreneurship in Open and Distance Learning Institutions: The National Open University Nigeria (NOUN) as a Case Study


  • Beatrice Ifeoma Ajufo


Skill Development, Employability Skills, Nigerian Youth, Open & Distance Leaning Institutions, Entrepreneurship, NOUN


This paper using NOUN as a case study examines the role of ODL institutions in equipping its students with contemporary and relevant skills essential for 21st Century workplace so that they can compete globally in the fast – changing business environment. Against this background, the paper looks at employability in its totality as well as the employability skills that employers look for. It also examines the role of institutions of higher learning in enhancing the employability skills of students and the experience of NOUN through Employability Skills Development & Internship Programme (NESDIP) in collaboration with Nigerian Youth Chamber of Commerce in providing employability training & internship opportunity to its students as well as the challenges faced by the progamme. The study adopted a theoretical approach supported with secondary data sourced from journals, Internet materials and practical experience from NOUN. This paper is of significance to Government and all relevant stakeholders who need to harness and equip the youth with relevant skills thereby reducing the escalating rate of unemployment. The paper therefore concludes that ODL institutions should identify core employability skills that will best serve the future labour market and align programmes to meet those needs.

Résumé : Cet article qui utilise NOUN comme étude de cas, examine le rôle que jouent les institutions de FOAD pour doter leurs étudiants de compétences actuelles et pertinentes, essentielles pour le milieu de travail du 21e siècle afin qu'ils puissent être compétitifs à l'échelle mondiale dans un environnement commercial en évolution rapide. C’est dans ce contexte, que cet article examine l'employabilité dans sa totalité ainsi que les compétences d'employabilité recherchées par les employeurs. Il examine également le rôle des établissements d'enseignement supérieur dans l'amélioration des compétences d'employabilité des étudiants et l'expérience de NOUN par le biais du programme de développement des compétences et de stages d'employabilité (NESDIP) en collaboration avec la Chambre de commerce de la jeunesse nigériane, ainsi que les défis auxquels le programme est confronté. L'étude a adopté une approche théorique appuyée par des données secondaires provenant de revues, de matériel Internet et d'une expérience pratique de NOUN. Ce document est important pour le gouvernement et toutes les parties prenantes concernées qui doivent mobiliser et doter les jeunes de compétences pertinentes, réduisant ainsi l'escalade du taux de chômage. Le document conclut donc que les institutions de FOAD devraient identifier les compétences essentielles d'employabilité qui serviront le mieux le futur marché du travail et aligner les programmes pour répondre à ces besoins.

Author Biography

Beatrice Ifeoma Ajufo

Faculty of Education
National Open University of Nigeria


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How to Cite

Ajufo, B. I. (2019). Sharpening the Employability Skills of Nigerian Youth through Entrepreneurship in Open and Distance Learning Institutions: The National Open University Nigeria (NOUN) as a Case Study. West African Journal of Open and Flexible Learning, 8(1), 105–123. Retrieved from



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