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UN Expert Urges Nigerian Youths to Embrace Vocational Skills

By Dipo Olowookere

Youths in Nigeria have been urged to think towards adding vocational skills to formal education in order to be marketable, employable and economically sustainable for a secured future.

This charge was given by the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Nigeria, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, while speaking at the 2017 World Youth Skills Day observance organised last Friday by Yes-I-Believe Academy (YIBA) in collaboration with UNIC.

He expressed concern at the high number of unemployed youth, explaining that education and training were 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.

On December 18, 2014, the UN General Assembly designated July 15 as World Youth Skills Day. The theme for this year’s observance was ‘Skills for the Future of Work.’

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.”

Also 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, President 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).

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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