The National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Nigeria, Oluseyi Soremekun, has called on Nigerian youth to add vocational skills acquisition to their formal education in order to be marketable, employable and economically sustainable for a secured future.
He made this call while speaking at the 2017 World Youth Skills Day observance organised on Friday 14 July 2015 by Yes-I-Believe Academy (YIBA) in collaboration with UNIC. Expressing concern at the high number of unemployed youth, the UN General Assembly on 18 December 2014, designated 15 July as World Youth Skills Day. The theme for this year’s observance is “Skills for the Future of Work”.
World Youth Skills Day, Soremekun disclosed, is in recognition of the fact that fostering the acquisition of skills by youth would enhance their ability to make informed choices with regard to life and work and empower them to gain access to changing labour markets.
He explained that education and training are key determinants of success in the labour market. Skills and jobs for youth feature prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.4 calls for a substantial increase in the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills.
The National Information Officer noted that “Everyone has inborn skills. No one is empty and useless. Identify your passion, your skill area and seek help to develop it and be a master of your future. Your future lies in your hands. Acquire a skill today.”
Explaining the reason for youth unemployment, the National Information Officer explained, “One reason for youth unemployment is structural unemployment, a mismatch between the skills that workers in the economy can offer and the skills demanded of workers by employers. Structural unemployment affects all regions around the world and it impacts not only economies but also hampers the transition to equitable and inclusive societies envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Speaking at the event, Mrs Nneoma Effanga, a Makeup expert, urged the youths to shun idleness and develop their talents which might not be related to their course of studies. Such a step, she said, might be that which would secure their future.
Stressing the importance of skills acquisition, the Executive Director of YIBA, Mr Niyi Adekunle, declared that no vocational skill is demeaning. He urged the participants who were mainly students of Yaba College of Technology, not to treat vocational skills training with contempt as it might be a saving grace for some even after their graduation from other fields.
The programme also featured exhibition of vocational skills products and some practical sessions featuring wire-works, shoes, make-up kits and application, art-works and soft-furniture among others.
Facilitators of the practical session included Mr Akinwande Ademosu (Motivational Speaker); Mrs Oreoluwa Solana (Crystal Design); Mr Gbenga Ogundimu (Shoe Maker); Mrs Oyebola Jennifer (Art work) Ms Opeyemi Olowoporoku (Beads Making) and Mrs Busola Oluwatimileyin (Interior Design).