• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Public-private partnership to bridge soft skills gap in Nigeria – Ajisafe

Public-private partnership to bridge soft skills gap in Nigeria – Ajisafe

For Nigerian youths to have the soft skills needed to deliver on their jobs, there is the need for the private and public sector stakeholders to collaborate in empowering youths with soft skills, Akeem Ajisafe, managing director of Transblue, has said.

According to him, such partnerships have the potential to provide youths with the platform to obtain the needed soft skills that would help them to excel in their workplace.

Ajisafe, who pointed out that lack of soft skills has rendered many youths ineffective in their place of work, said that some graduates with technical knowledge still miss out on job opportunities due to the inability to demonstrate the needed soft skills.

Speaking on the prevailing employment challenges in Nigeria, Ajisafe said that Nigeria’s education systems produce graduates with excellent grades, but the soft skill gap precludes them from securing their career-defining jobs.

“Our graduates sometimes cannot demonstrate good communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, which are essential for employers,” he said.

He said that the youth are the driving force behind any society’s economic growth and technological innovation, and they also make up the critical masses, particularly in developing nations like Nigeria.

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

According to the report, over 60 percent of Nigeria’s working-age population is younger than 34, pointing toward a need to empower this generation for employment and to be future-protected against socio-economic challenges.

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According to the Center for the Study of the Economics of Africa (CSEA), the Nigerian labour market is characterised by a significant mismatch between the skills required by companies and the ones available on the market, contributing to the high youth unemployment rate in the country.

Citing an example of existing partnerships aimed at addressing the soft skill gap in Nigeria, Ajisafe said that the recent collaboration between Qnet and Transblue to launch ‘FinGreen,’ a financial literacy programme, was one of the partnerships needed 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), and it empowers young people to be entrepreneurs in order to create a better future for all,” Ajisafe explained.

He said that FinGreen adds to existing government and other stakeholders’ collective efforts 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 clearly prioritised 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,” he added.