By Ayo Ajayi from Abuja.
A skill gap survey conducted by the federal government of Nigeria showed that vacancies existed in four sectors namely, services, agriculture, construction and transportation were in some cases being filled by non Nigeria because of the absence of Nigerians with the requisite technical skills.
However as part of efforts to change the narratives icreate Africa in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), BOSCH and Sterling Bank organised a skill Festival to raise the profile and recognition of skilled professionals in Nigeria by rebranding and projecting the value of skills in the mainstream,while preparing youths for skills of the future.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Nigeria, and iCreate Skill Fest have reiterated the call for youths in the country to embrace skill acquisition programmes to be self-reliance.
Addressing a press conference during the Skills Fest, the Head of Project, GIZ, Tobias Wolfgarten said that there are lots of unemployed youths in the country, yet there are huge potentials yet to be harnessed in the skills sector needed in the labour market.
He said, “What we are doing is collaborating with the government and private sector to fill the skills gap. Youths can build decent careers and jobs by acquiring vocational skills.
“There is a need for precision and accuracy to compete globally. So, via this platform, youths can be trained to perfect their skills and take up career paths in any field they love.”
The chief executive officer, iCreate Skill Fest, Mr Bright Jaja noted that the platform will help boost the confidence of artisans to find confidence in their chosen careers.
He said via the platform artisans and skillers will update their digital skills as well as their workplace technique.
He said, “This platform will bridge the gap between the government, industries, and institutions by responding to the needs of the labour market.
“Also, crafting a sustainable future for the Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) in Nigeria.
“And promote a system of decent wages for artisans, especially in the construction industry.”
Also, he said the platform aims to implement a technological system that will generate easy access to the non-academic segment of labour.
While speaking at the workshop, a representative of Sterling Bank Mrs Roseline Nkata said the Bank is ready to work in partnership with iCreate Africa in reducing the rate of unemployment in the country.
She added as one of the sponsors the bank has introduced different packages so that skillers can access soft loans to buy their tools.
She, however, encouraged the skillers not to allow the opportunity to slip off their hands.