WORLD YOUTH SKILLS DAY 2020

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO as well as United Nations International Center for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, UNEVOC, have ratified fifteenth day of July annually to be observed as World Youth Skills Day. This forms the basis of today’s commentary written by Kissinger Bukar of Current Affairs Department.
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Fifteenth July, which was yesterday annually has been set aside as a day to mark World Youth Skills Day by both UNESCO and International Center for Technical and Vocational Education, UNEVOC Network. The event will raise awareness about the importance of youth skills development.

This year’s World Youth Skills Day, which focuses on the theme, “Skills for Resilient Youth”, takes place in a challenging context. The Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures have led to the worldwide closure of technical and vocational education and training institutions, threatening the continuity of skills development. Estimate has it that nearly seventy percent of the world’s learners are adversely affected by school closures across education levels currently.

According to statistics, young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adultsand continuously face the challenges of greater labour market inequalities while the aim is to advocate for skills as an important factor to improve young people’s transitions to decent work. The annual event will also highlight the crucial role of skilled youth in addressing today’s most challenging global issues.

Part of activities marking the day, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, and the International Labour Organisation, in partnership with the Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Portugal will bring together the voices of youth, Member States, the UN system, private sector, civil society, academia and organizations to chart the way forward.

 

The situation is further compounded by statistics from Ministry of Labour and Productivity, that thirty five percent of the population, mostly young people will become jobless by twenty twenty following the deployment of technology as humans are substituted with robots.

Indeed the problem of acquisition of skills by youths in Nigeria is seems not to end.This is despite numerous efforts by government at federal, state and local government levels. This is considering various introduction of intervention aimed at providing skills to teaming youths, who are unemployed.

In Adamawa state, the efforts of government in providing skills to youths in the state have experience transformation while creating mild results. For instance, during the Administration of Governor Murtala Nyako, Special Programme and Project Unit was created under which Skills Acquisition Centers were established. These centers were established in Mayo Belwa, Yola, Fufore, Jabbilamba and Damare in Girei, Madagali, Gombi, Guyuk, Numan and Mubi North.

The centers named according to services they render. These include Technical Training Support, Farming and Technical Skills Acquisition Centers, Local Apprenticeship Scheme and International Training Support, which provided master trainers of the beneficiaries at all the local government areas of the state.

The success recorded drew the attention of Dangote Group of Company to recruit the grandaunts of the centers, whom they found to be vast in their areas of endeavor.

The programme was suspended following lack of political will to continue rendering support to it. However, a similar programme was initiated by government and named Poverty Alleviation and Wealth Creation, POWECO scheme. Many youths were offered skills in various areas including mechanical, electrical and technical. This is done with collaboration with Industrial Training Fund, providing support and funding.

 

It has to be said that the seemingly reduction in political will of government in the reduction in skills to youths can be said to have led to increase in criminal activities among youths, especially Shila Boys and recent increase in cases of kidnapping among.

It is in the light of this that while commending the United Nations for initiating the observation of enacting World Youth Skills Day, there is the need for government at various levels to come up with a more reliable and sustainable measure that is acceptable that is directed at providing skills to especially youths to be self-reliant and contribute positively to national growth and development.

It is unfortunate that there is no concrete plan in place that has gained acceptability and is sustained by various administrations in especially Adamawa and Nigeria as a whole. This is why youths are yet to be free from shackles of poverty and unemployment while criminal activities and intake of hard drug is on the increase.

Therefore as the world marks World Youth Skills Day, there is the need for relevant stakeholders to put hands together towards the provision of skills and entrepreneur knowledge for youths irrespective of gender, political and religious linage. Government intervention such as N-Power, National Directorate of Employment and None Governmental Organisations should ensure that their programmes aimed at empowering skills and knowledge to youths is sustainable.

This way much would be achieved in the provision of skills to youths.

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AUTHOR:  KISSINGER BUKAR

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