A Study of the Suitability of Anambra State Technical and Vocational College Graduates for the Nigerian Labour Market
There have been various comments and criticisms about the poor performance of Technical and Vocational College Graduates in the labour market. Some interested researchers in this field investigated these claims in certain states of the country. Some investigations failed to prove these allegations of poor performance while some did. This study was designed to find empirically the situation in Anambra State. Three sets of questionnaire were constructed for the employers of technical personnel - who were represented by their supervisors (EMPQ) the technical graduate employees (GTVQ) and the Educational Institutions (technical and Vocational) (EDIQ) respectively. The instruments yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.89 for the EDIQ 0.91 for the EMPQ, and 0.93 for the GTVQ. The study involved 15 principals, 765 technical college graduates workers, and 81 employers. The general hypothesis was that the Anambra State Technical College Graduates' performance on-the-job will be rated very low by the labour market. The result showed that the labour market rated the job performance of Anambra State Technical College Graduates as meeting their level of expectation. Highlights of the findings were that: 1. A correlation was found between the graduates self rating and the supervisors rating of the graduates. 2. There was no difference in job performance between the locally trained graduates and their foreign counterparts; 3. A better job performance was observed among graduates from the older schools as compared to those from the newer schools; 4. The quality of theory and the quality of practical were found to be predictors of job performance; 5. There was no observed over-production of graduates relative to demand; 6. There was a marked improvement in the morale of technical college graduates; 7. School location was closely related to the level of dropout of students in vocational and technical institutions with those in the rural areas recording higher ratios than those in the urban areas. 8. Lack of finance was found to be the main cause of dropping-out of technical colleges more than any other factors such as failure in examination, going for higher studies or illness. 9. Most college graduates got employed through friends and relations rather than through employment exchanges or advertisements in the dailies. 10. Poor labour market information was found to be main cause of unemployment rather than inadequate skills training or any other factor. 11. In determining job performance of the graduates, the explained variation accounted for by instructional methods was 1.73 per cent, quality of teachers - 21.49 per cent and quality of laboratories/workshops - 21.70 per cent. All three variables had positive correlations with job performance. Based on these findings, it is suggested broadly that there should be a change in administrative action from overhauling strategies to strategies aimed at pattern maintenance, adaptation and improvement. Among other things, it is suggested that there is need to ensure inspection by qualified inspectors. 12. Boasting instructor/teacher morale through generous fringe benefits to enhance productivity and commitment; 13. Establish a liaison between industry, school and employment information exchange to bridge the present information gap causing temporary unemployment so as to increase general awareness; 14. Promote interschool public exhibitions and demonstrations of inventions or design with a view to attracting investors on commercial production and acquiring patent; 15. Establish special technical and vocational schools to cater for the specially gifted and ingenuous who invent one thing or the other in their local environments. 16. Provide more water-tight guidance counselling especially with regard to placement to trades. 17. De-emphasis some liberal subjects in all trades and 18. Emphasis and expand subjects such as physics and technical drawing and the introduction of computer technology in relevant trades especially in engineering and allied fields.