Skills Gaps and Mismatches: Private Sector Expectations of Engineering Graduates in Ethiopia

Volume 49 Number 5
Published: November 27, 2018
This article investigates skills gaps and mismatches of engineering graduates. Sustained growth of the Ethiopian economy has created demand for construction work, yet despite the labour demand and engineering graduates seeking employment, employers identify skills gaps hindering their ability to employ them. The study uses key informant interviews with engineering graduates, lecturers, and private sector employers, and document analysis to collect data on the skills gaps and mismatches. The article argues that, while skills gaps are largely caused by poor design of the higher education curriculum and corrupted recruitment practices, the precarious nature of the construction sector and macroeconomic instability limit graduate employment even further. It suggests that education providers work collaboratively with employers to make the curriculum fit for purpose, and that government both makes more realistic and long-term plans for the construction sector, and increases university funding, with an emphasis on quality and practice-focused graduate teaching and learning experiences.


  • Agriculture
  • Youth
  • Unemployment
From Issue: Vol. 49 No. 5 (2018) | Youth Employment and the Private Sector in Africa