By Olayinka Oketikun
If there is any singular event that has shaken and reshaped the entire world after the world wars, there probably is none other than the current Covid 19 pandemic. It started as a localised epidemic, but within months it has transformed to a global pandemic that has upended most expert projections.
No doubt, governments around the world have taken dramatic measures, with big implications for economic activity, to reduce the likely negative economic woes brought by the Covid 19 pandemic.
In the United Kingdom, the government declared a lockdown on March 23, 2020, to control the COVID-19 pandemic. This seems to have helped rein in the public-health crisis but is taking its toll on the economy.
The government rolled out unprecedented package of measures to prevent the economy from collapsing, including a generous furlough scheme which covers almost 8.4 million workers.
Similarly, details provided showed that Nigerians working in almost all sectors have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. The Nigerian government equally provided some palliatives to cushion the effect of this ravaging viral infection. The Central Bank of Nigeria established a fund totalling 50 billion naira to support the country’s economy.
The fund is targeted at households and micro and small enterprises. Among other incentives is another N1 trillion in loans to boost manufacturing and production across critical sectors.
Despite government efforts, many workers across the world are losing their jobs as both individuals and firms are all faced with daunting challenges occasioned by the pandemic.
These challenges will bring significant implications for employment no doubt. In my calculations, it may be daunting and extremely precarious for businesses to employ and pay workers at this nick of time.
For businesses in Nigeria, there will be series of strategic implications, but I am sure they will vary company by company. What we should all do, is to ensure we are proactive and plan ahead. Business owners should anticipate the shape of the recovery and put in place a robust preparation for the next normal.
Operators of businesses spanning the entire country and with several customer segments may have to reimagine their product and sales offerings and channels to market to match the large-scale shifts in consumer incomes, attitudes, and behaviors.
The highly differential impacts on local labour markets and specific occupational categories may create opportunities for companies to reconfigure their talent acquisition—for example, by identifying latent skills among the newly unemployed.
This is where BLENDED comes in handy to employers of labour. We have the capacity to provide human capital resources to employers in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom.
We have on board Human Resources, Certified Trainers and Development specialists with cross industry experience to provude value-driven solutions to our numerous clients.
We are in pole position to help employers of labour to get people back to productive work as soon as possible.
We are able to help in retraining and reskilling unemployed people with a view to quickly get them back into full time employment.
It is a statement of fact, that, even if employment were to return to previous levels in the next year or two, the shape of the economy and labour market would have shifted significantly.
We encourage employers to invest now to upskill workers and to prepare them for more broader trends that is evolving in the world of work.