iCreate Africa, a hub for Technical Vocational and Education Training (TVET) and youth employment in Nigeria, has announced plans to create 5 million jobs in technical skills trades to bridge unemployment gap among youths.
Bright Jaja, CEO, iCreate Africa, who highlighted this mandate at a virtual skills conference to celebrate the World Youth Skills Day, noted that there are 20 million jobs available in technical and vocational skills space.
The CEO explained that iCreate will achieve the goal by empowering 1 million youths with the tool for success, who in turn can transfer their skills to 5 people which creates an “unmatched industry”.
He informed that the organisation has made huge strides within the first two years of existence, explaining that in 2019, it hosted three regional competitions across the country with a grand finale in Lagos, created direct employment for over 5,000 youths, empowered 350 artisans with startup funds, tools, equipment and mentorship and sponsored two skills champions to attend the world skills competition in Russia Kazan.
Panellists at the virtual conference took stock of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on skills development and explored strategies in response to the unfolding economic crisis.
Juliet Oshagbemi of Dangote Academy stressed that incorporating ICT into schools’ academic curriculum could not be anymore apt.
“The pandemic has left many young people wandering about, searching for safe ways to conduct their businesses, which often depend on physical activity, a once familiar system to which may no longer apply,” she said.
Bruns Hans-Ludwig Head of GIZ-SKYE programme emphasised that “we do not look for the quick wins anymore”. In Nigeria, there is an appetite for skills at state level and will escalate activities to federal level over the next six months.
Kaduna State commissioner for Business Innovation and Technology, Idris Nyam, stated that business drives economy and there is a need to keep up the pace by building skills by ICT, technical and vocational skills, and all skills need to sustain businesses post-covid 19, and provide linkage to these markets.
Concluding the conference, Daniel Sabzehar CEO, Tessarakt reiterated that skilled workers can be employed very easily, create solutions easily, get connected to premium clients, and have their skills exported.