From: Amada Enegela, Abuja
The German International Cooperation (GIZ ) has reiterated its commitment to developing the Nigerian economy through the provision of practical, sustainable and effective solutions in political, economic and social change processes.
Against the backdrop of teeming unemployment in Nigeria which has left millions of youth disillusioned and disenchanted, the GIZ has initiated the Skills Development for Youth Employment (SKYE) programme. It is part of efforts to tackle the issue of unemployment and promote economic diversification in an over stretched mono-economy with an over reliance on the extractive industries.
The SKYE Programme supports the diversification of the economy in Nigeria through the promotion of demand-oriented Technical and Vocational Training and Education (TVET) With it’s focus mainly on the Agriculture and Construction(Housing)
The initiative is geared towards improving the synergy between the measures on the supply side of the job market (vocational qualification) with those of the demand side (technology transfer and development, consultation of producer groups and processing companies)in order to enable Technical, Vocational Training and Education providers to develop and implement in market and target group -oriented qualification offers.
The SKYE programme targets youth and women aged between the ages of 15 to 35 who are either unemployed or underemployed. They account for a nearly 30% of the unemployed populace in Nigeria with women being 52% of that category. It aims to reach a minimum of 52,000 youth in both rural and urban areas across ten states in Nigeria.
Whilst most Nigerian youth are roaming the streets in search of non existent white collar jobs, a huge chasm has been created in the area of skilled manpower for blue collar jobs specifically in the construction and agricultural sectors. Stakeholders in the construction and agricultural sectors have lamented the challenges they face in finding well trained, skilled blue collar professionals to work with which delays productivity and effectiveness in the execution of their projects.
However, the programmes intervention strategy focuses on the following areas;
-Addressing the quality of Technical Vocational Training and Education in the construction sector as well as the employability of the Nigerian youth along the construction value chains.
-An emphasis on the competencies of the Nigerian youth for productive employment along agricultural value chains.
– The initiative also seeks to work on improving the environment for employment creation In construction and agriculture value chains for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME).
-It will promote innovative approaches for employment through a competitive funding facility.
– it will strengthen the framework conditions for employment oriented Technical ,Vocational Training and Education by supporting the dialogue between the private sector employers, vocational training institutions and political regulators .
The programme provides the Nigerian youth with an opportunity to take an active role in shaping their own future and improving their livelihoods by learning lifelong skills that will sustain them economically. I would urge every youth to keep their eyes and ears out for more information on the SKYE programme and maximize the opportunities that it provides.