Corporate grumblings over the poor quality of fresh graduates coming out of Nigeria’s institutions of higher learning is fast creating an ecosystem of young men and women incapable of snapping up new jobs not to talk of holding down old ones.
The millennial job distress is gradually progressing into a national crisis. Recent National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data for Q3 2018 shows that Nigeria has a national unemployment rate of 23.1% and an underemployment rate of 20.1%, the combined unemployment and underemployment rate is 43.2%.
Chart1 Nigeria’s unemployment rate (2014-2015)
Source: National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
Meyer Plc Flags off New Approach to Youth Recruitment
In a fresh and visionary approach to building a pool of manpower talent from which it can employ its next generation of corporate leadership, Meyer Plc, has commenced a carefully curated training programme from the month of March 2019. The programme designed to retool some of the brightest graduates from the country‟s finest tertiary institutions will provide them with skill-sets that will transform their earlier academic learning into cutting-edge tools for work place effectiveness and productivity.
Meyer Plc’s Management Graduate Training Programme (MGTP) which started in January 2019 pulled up a small recruitment squad of graduates from institutions of higher learning across the country in a pilot project to refine the job recruitment process by evaluating and screening top-notch graduates for immediate work environment engagement.
Repositioning Nigeria’s paint business
Meyer‟s new recruitment strategy is part of a bolder plan of repositioning the retail end of the local paint business with fresh ideas on marketing and consumer communication for a younger generation of customers. Falling consumer demand tied to an unanticipated recession in 2016 hurt both industry turnover and margins. In 2019, the paint manufacturing business should see a mild reversal of this trend with growth in demand picking up on the basis of emerging macroeconomic trends:
Meyer’s graduate recruitment strategy therefore feeds into an optimistic narrative for the construction and property markets, in the short to medium term, and rides on the
back of a mildly positive growth outlook for the economy between 2019 and 2023. Perhaps resulting from this happier perspective, the company’s Head, Human Resources/Admin, Temiloluwa Ogunremi, observes that the new graduate employment initiative is in line with the company’s determination to deliver on the expectations of its customers. According to Ogunremi, “In Meyer Plc, we are determined to continually be the industry leader in providing cutting-edge services that make business transactions seamless for our esteemed customers. Our Management Training Programme is one of the initiatives set out to further promote employment opportunities for fresh graduates from our Universities and Polytechnics”.
“Meyer Plc is an interesting and prestigious brand to work with and this is why we have upgraded our recruitment process to make strategic adjustments to suit the new market place”, he notes.
Colouring A Brighter Future
Rebounding from few years of corporate difficulties, especially in the mid-2000‟s, Meyer Plc has shaken off its problems of slow-moving inventories, falling sales volumes and opaque corporate governance standards to chart a newer, nimble, forward-looking and industry-leading strategic course. The company has progressively competed successfully against close rivals as the market continues to acknowledge its broader product quality range and heightened service delivery efficiency. The paint maker recently closed trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at a market price of N0.54 and P/E ratio of 1.23.
Meyer’s New Boss
In a related development, the Chairman, Board of Directors of the company, Mr. Kayode Falowo, announced the appointment of Mr. Devashish Nath as the new Managing Director subject to the approval of the Regulatory authorities. “His experience has an astute business and quality assurance expert, conversant with the state-of-the-art decorative and auto finish paint industry spans over 26 years. Prior to his appointment, he was a General Manager at Berger Paints India Limited”
According to Falowo, “the Board is confident that Devashish leading our Management Team, will bring to bear his well-known experience in the industry and the fortunes of the company will be impacted positively in the near and long term.”
Investors will be keeping an eye on the company as it attempts to pull itself to the top of the domestic paint business.
Chart 2 MEYER Plc. Price movements from April 2018-March 2019