Home Finance Public-Private Collaboration To Bridge Soft Skills Gap Among Nigeria Youths – Ajisafe

Public-Private Collaboration To Bridge Soft Skills Gap Among Nigeria Youths – Ajisafe

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Accelerating the process of collaboration between private and public sectors is critical to bridging the soft skills gap among the Nigerian young population. An industry expert has said.

According to him, such partnerships have the potential to bridge the gap between the academic world and the existing work environment.

Akeem Ajisafe, Managing Director of Transblue, said collaborative efforts will provide solutions that address the soft skills gap, which has rendered many youths ineffective in the Job industry.

Ajisafe, while commenting on the prevailing challenge in employment, said that even though graduates complete their studies with technical knowledge, they still miss job opportunities because they cannot demonstrate the needed soft skills.

“Our education systems produce graduates with excellent grades, but a gap precludes them from career-defining jobs. Our graduates sometimes cannot demonstrate good communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, which are essential for employers,” he said.

According to him, the youth are the driving force behind any society’s economic growth and technological innovation, adding that they also make up the critical masses, particularly in developing nations like Nigeria, who have the power to strengthen or weaken the fabric of society.

A recent report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) noted that Nigeria’s unemployment rate has risen from 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020 to 33%, making it the second-highest rate on the Global List.

The report further highlights that over 60% of Nigeria’s working-age population is younger than 34, pointing toward a need to empower this generation for employment and future proof against socio-economic challenges.

By 2050, Nigeria will have a population of over 300 million people, making it the third-most populous nation on earth. The above effectively means that the number of individuals seeking employment will further increase.

However, according to The Center for the study of the Economics of Africa (CSEA), the Nigerian labour market is characterized by a significant mismatch between the skills required by companies and the ones available on the market, contributing, unfortunately, to the high youth unemployment rate.

Ajisafe further said that the recent collaboration between Qnet and Transblue to launch ‘FinGreen,’ a financial literacy programme is one of the partnership steps to develop healthy financial habits through education and training in the most vulnerable communities.

The project, according to him, hopes to empower young people to take charge of their future and lead better lives, including improving their employability skills to pursue opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.

The FinGreen programme is implemented with a local not-for-profit organisation, Financial Literacy For All (FLFA), in charge of developing training on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and other critical soft skills.

The project is part of QNET’s overall corporate social responsibility initiative to Raise Yourself to Help Mankind (RYTHM). Hence empowering young people to be entrepreneurs will help create a better future for all.

He noted that FinGreen adds to existing government and other stakeholder initiatives as a collective effort toward empowering the youth for the job market. Through activities like The Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP) launched in 2016, the government of Nigeria has shown clear prioritization of unemployment issues. The NIYEAP serves as a multi-stakeholder partnership to advance the implementation of youth-employment-related targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focusing on digital skills, quality apprenticeships, green jobs, and the rural economy.

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