The Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment has held a career workshop on the future of work, the skills needed and key sectors that propel new business opportunities for youth development, DANIEL ESSIET reports.
The event was aimed at proffering advice and support to youths exploring careers to boost their skills.
Organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, the experts who attended included the Chief Executive Officer/Team Leader, Total Business Solutions (TBS) Consulting Limited, Leke Olufade; the Chief Executive Officer, Jobberman Nigeria, Hilda Kabushenga Kragha, the Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University, Peter Bamkole; Vice-President, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and Chief Executive, Theta Alpha Consults Limited, Titilayo Akisanya, and Managing Consultant, StreSERT Services Limited, Roselyn Onalaja (ACIPM).
The Commissioner, Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, said youths faced significant challenges when they try to transit into the labour market and into an independent life.
Though there are not enough jobs, she added, some youths do not have adequate skills to find work, the reason the state government, she noted, is helping to bridge the gap.
She said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had approved that 2000 youths be taken into its internship.
While under the six-month internship programme, she said the beneficiaries would be paid a monthly stipend of N40,000. According to her, the problem of youth unemployment needs to be tackled quickly, otherwise it would get ever more difficult to reintegrate unemployed youths into the labour market.
She explained that there was a large untapped talent, but that employment opportunities remained scarce for young workers.
She said the government was determined to equip youths for their future by providing them employment training and skills development opportunities. Through apprenticeships, training programmes and other initiatives, she added, a lot of youths had been empowered with essential skills for the workplace.
She said with the job registration centres located in the major areas of the state, youths would be informed of new opportunities and the government is ready to increase the awareness of the programmes and initiatives available.
The Ministry, she added, has teamed up with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and private organisations to give youths the skills and business training. The budding entrepreneurs, she noted, would also receive financial and technical assistance and support to set up their businesses.
For Bamkole, the transition from education to employment was a key phase in a young person’s life, advocating proper systems in place to assist them during the challenging journey to secure employment.
According to him, Nigeria has a large digitally enabled youths that have passion for growth and change.
Without building the skills and capabilities necessary to drive innovation, he said the economy risks stagnation, urging the state government to play a critical role in supporting a vibrant entrepreneurial sector by creating capabilities for growth as opportunities were limitless.
Bamkole urged the government to target talented youths who have progressive mindsets to become the successful, entrepreneurs.
He advised the government to work with the youth to leverage opportunities across the creative, fintech and agricultural value chain to create wealth and generate employment.
According to him, studies by the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University, has revealed that the country can create jobs through the agric sector if value chain opportunities are fully tapped by the youth.
EDC partners the Master Card Foundation to create 10million jobs in the country with agric value chain accounting for 70 per cent of it.
Following the gradual implementation of the digital economy, Mrs Kragha said the society requires a new generation of employees with technical skill
She said Jobberman Nigeria was ready to tackle unemployment in Lagos in particular and Nigeria at large.
She added that the organisation was consistently implementing new and innovative tools and programmes to empower youth.
Mrs Onalaja said the cohesiveness of communities depends on the development and job opportunities, especially for the youth.
She called for partnership to develop comprehensive programmes aimed at the empowerment of youths. These, she added, should be implemented to sustain performance, transfer expertise and develop competencies.
She urged youths to work on their employability skills and learn how to write an impactful resume.
Mrs Akisanya stressed that giving youths the opportunity to direct their talents, and energy into sustainable and rewarding employment was critical to the country’s future.
She said efforts should be directed towards tackling youth unemployment by helping youths gain experience and employability by creating jobs and training opportunities but also by educating people around the work market.
Mrs. Akinsanya urged support for youths to become skilful and programmes to teach youth how to successfully transform awareness, skills and experience into employment.
With dwindled opportunities, she said youths had to think about establishing and sustaining successful enterprises.
Olufade called for intervention and prevention mechanisms to combat uncertainty and instability in the job market.
He noted that COVID-19 has added new hurdles to the prospects of youths in the search for jobs or in starting their firms.
Against this backdrop, he noted that there was a need to support the conversation around job creation and helping ambitious entrepreneurs after the COVID-19 crisis.
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