• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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How Graduate Advancement Programme is empowering youths with skills for future work

Nigerian youths

The Knowledge Exchange Centre (KEC) is training and equipping Nigerian youths with relevant skills needed for the future work through its Graduate Advancement Programme (GAP).

The initiative, which is a three-month programme, is designed to strategically address unemployment issues in the country.

It seeks to address three key areas; lack of job-relevant skills, unemployment/underemployment, and poor social networking skills that are critical factors in addressing Nigeria’s issues of unemployment.

“The vision of KEC is to bridge the country’s academic curriculum to meet requirements needed by industries,” Charles Nwodo, executive chairman, KEC, said during an online webinar with the theme ‘Developing Job Relevant Skills in the Digital Economy.’

Nwodo stated that future work would require highly sophisticated people skilled in digital technology, urging youths to adjust to the current realities.

He said that the current realities of the global economy owing to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that digital skills are relevant in the workplace.

According to him, job skills are critical in the labour market and new entrants into the workforce would require retooling, training, and education to be relevant.

Speaking about the GAP programme, Ajibade Adedapo, project officer, KEC, said the programme comprises of a month intensive employability training and two-month internship.

He noted that 43 trainees have been trained over the last three years with 80 percent of them now gainfully employed.

He added that the organisation is set to select 100 youths for its next training programme while urging interested participants to visit its website to register.

In his keynote address, Babatunde Fajimi, managing director and chief executive, Kairos Business Services Limited, stressed that digital skills are critical for jobs and social inclusion.

“We live in a post-literate digital society that is driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). We are familiar with the Internet, but most of us are oblivious of its enormous digital impact on the economy and how we can position ourselves to thrive in our careers?” Fajimi asked.

“Our Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is characterised by intense competition for life, and work, and by extension your career. There is increasing deployment and utilisation of new technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, among others,” he added.

Also speaking, Yetunde Arobieke, Lagos commissioner, Wealth Creation, and Employment, said with the increasing unemployment challenges, the state is trying to create jobs.

She said the future of jobs has been at the top of the agenda of the state government, adding that several policies and market-based solutions have been adopted to address the high rate of unemployment.