The Role of Skill Development in Enhancing Employability, Entrepreneurship, and SelfReliance Among the Youths
A message of hope to young Nigerian Youths to Mark the “International Youth Day ”Barr. Sam Otoboeze (Grand Patron &Chairman, Board of Trustees, Africa Youth Community)
The times are hard no doubt, however, there is still hope in the horizon. A day like this is a day for sober reflection not only for the Nigerian youths; African youths or the youths across the globe but certainly, moreso for parents and older folks. That things are hard The Role of Skill Development in Enhancing Employability, Entrepreneurship, and Self-Reliance Among the Youths – A message of hope to young Nigerian Youths to Mark the “International Youth Day 2023” by Barr. Sam Otoboeze (Grand Patron & Chairman, Board of Trustees, Africa Youth Community) The times are hard no doubt, however, there is still hope in the horizon. A day like this is a day for sober reflection not only for the Nigerian youths; African youths or the youths across the globe but certainly, moreso for parents and older folks. That things are hard is not just the problem of the youths alone, who have the energy but have no work; who possess several certificates that cannot give them employment; that are the leaders of tomorrow but not sure how to survive till tomorrow. The problems are more for the more advanced adults, whether parents or not, who cannot afford to sleep because the youths are restively awake due to hunger and deprivation. It therefore goes that the adults who have denied the youths sleep will not also sleep. The times are therefore obviously hard and optimally challenging. Whether we believe it or not, the youths remain the hope and despair of the society. The good news is that no matter how bad the situation may be, there’s still hope in the horizon. The hope is that nature has made it that no skilled person will die of hunger! This publication wouldn’t have come under a better Theme than: “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World” neither could it have come at a better time than now, to shed light on the importance of skill development in enhancing employability, fostering entrepreneurship, and promoting self-reliance among young individuals. By getting equipped with the right skills, the youths are automatically empowered to thrive in a competitive world and become essential catalysts for positive changes in the society. The job market has become increasingly competitive, making it crucial for young people to possess relevant skills and competencies. Every year, the universities and other degree awarding institutions, graduate thousands of young people, who have little or no skills in demand or as required by the industries that may employ them. There is therefore a compelling need to bridge the gap between formal education and education for employment through skills acquisition to either create self employment opportunities or to be gainfully employed elsewhere. By acquiring skills in emerging sectors such as technology, crafts, digital literacy, social services provision, data analytics, and sustainable development, farming etc, young individuals can increase their chances of securing gainful employment and building successful careers, which will in turn reduce the issue of crime and criminalities among young people. With the high rate of unemployment worldwide, young people must begin to think inward, and creatively too, to establish their own businesses through Entrepreneurship which provides the young ones the opportunity to create their own pathways to success, while making a positive impact on the society. Skill acquisition plays a pivotal role in nurturing entrepreneurial mindsets and providing the necessary tools to turn innovative ideas into thriving businesses. Skills in virtually all areas of human endeavors, whether in the area of critical thinking, problem-solving, financial literacy, marketing, farming or networking etc, empower young entrepreneurs to navigate through challenges, seize opportunities, and contribute to economic growth. The importance of skill acquisition extends beyond immediate employment or entrepreneurial endeavors into self-sustainability. In a rapidly evolving world, continuous learning and adaptability with patience are essential for long-term success. By cultivating a culture of lifelong learning, young individuals remain relevant and competitive in the job market. Skills development programs, vocational training, online courses, and mentorship opportunities provide the necessary framework for young people to enhance their skills on regular basis. While we encourage young people to acquire trending skills and nurture their own business, we must also be reminded that the larger society has a role to play. Building a conducive environment for skill development requires collaboration among governments, educational institutions, private sector entities, and civil society organizations. It is essential to invest in quality education, establish vocational training centers, promote apprenticeships and internships, and provide mentorship programs. Public-private partnerships can play a pivotal role in creating inclusive ecosystems that will foster skill acquisition, entrepreneurship, and employment opportunities for young people. In a nutshell, as a nation, both the young and the old, the leaders and led should be focused on how to empower the young ones for gainful employment and self sustaining opportunities through skill training. It is of paramount importance that the young people should be sufficiently empowered to navigate through the challenges of the modern world and seize opportunities for personal and professional growth. By emphasizing the importance of skill development in enhancing employability, fostering entrepreneurship, and promoting self-reliance, we can create a future where the youths are equipped with the necessary tools to succeed. I therefore, invite everyone to come together to invest in skills development programs and create an enabling environment that empowers young individuals to shape their destinies and contribute to a prosperous and sustainable world.
Happy International Youth Day and cheers to all our young people.