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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Bjorn H. Nordtveit

Second Advisor

Chrystal George Mwangi

Third Advisor

Lynda Pickbourn

Subject Categories

Other Education | Vocational Education


The increasing ‘youth bulge’ in Nigeria suggests that the unemployment rate among graduates of tertiary institutions will continue to rise if not appropriately addressed. To address this situation, the Nigerian government established Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Programmes through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. This qualitative case study examines the role of a SAED program in fostering employment among graduates in Lagos State, Nigeria. The study found that the SAED program is an effective and efficient way of reaching new graduates and training them in entrepreneurship skills. The program enhanced graduates’ skills for business startups and provided graduates with access to alternative career options in the absence of formal jobs. However, most of the graduate participants were unaware of the funding aspect of the program and did not have access to funding after program completion. Many indicated the need for capital to grow their businesses. Recommendations include providing more information about funding options for business startups and involving financial institutions to enhance the SAED experience. In addition, the study revealed discrimination against nursing mothers and gender stereotypes in the SAED program. This study recommends that the NYSC review its mission and vision, given the state of graduate unemployment as a national development challenge in Nigeria. Policy implications include promoting graduates’ participation irrespective of their gender and pregnancy/childbearing status, as well as transcending stereotypical gender constructs in the design and implementation of skills training and other offerings of the program.