Restructuring Skills Acquisition Pattern in Nigeria: When I woke up today, I already outlined things I hoped to achieve for the day. So the day began with me having my usual personal time to study at around 3 am. My chores followed afterwards and I loved the weather because it was drizzling nonstop.
Then my day began, I logged in on LinkedIn to find relevant materials for the project I had embarked upon as I consider LinkedIn to be a space where professionals from varied fields abound until I stumbled upon a post by one of my connections, he was celebrating the World Youths Skills Day.
The World Youths Skills Day is a day that has been set aside globally to recognize the importance of getting young people fully equipped to help them thrive in their respective localities regardless of what level of education they have.
Restructuring Skills Acquisition Pattern in Nigeria
Every time, the word “skills acquisition” comes to mind, I am reminded about vocational skills such as tailoring, bead making, soap and fragrance making, bag and shoemaking, pastry making etc. These are the kinds of skills mostly championed in Nigeria. This is very evident in many states in Nigeria especially when the first lady of a state begins a movement termed ‘women empowerment’. These kinds of skills are also advocated while corps members are in camp and even after the camp, popularly referred to as SAED. Skills acquisition is a term that is championed everywhere especially in Nigeria. The government sets up programmes to aid this cause, well-meaning private individuals also help with this cause.
Skills acquisition is promoted due to the unavailability of jobs to match the population outburst. Programmes have been developed to promote it such that even a little child from 12 years old is encouraged to acquire one skill or the other. But for some others, skills acquisition become important to them only after they have graduated from the tertiary institution and after they have unsuccessfully tried to be gainfully employed.
However, while skills acquisition is good as it has become a life wire of sustenance, especially for most youths in Nigeria, there has been a deficit of some sort which has created a huge gap. It’s sad to say that while our world has become digitally inclined championing skills that relate to the tech ecosystem, we on the other side of the world have not fully embraced it as our government still advocate the traditional kinds of skills. Tech skills haven’t been fully embraced as the government hasn’t done enough to bring it to the doorstep of individuals, and where these tech skills are advocated, fees to enrol into such programmes are outrageous making only a select few opportune to gain these skills.
Why the Need to Restructuring Skills Acquisition Pattern in Nigeria
The outbreak of coronavirus has shown us that digital skills should be embraced fully as a lot of activities have been held virtually during the period of the lockdown, and the world has adjusted to this as it has proven to be easier and more economical.
Another core important skill that has been neglected is financial literacy skill. Our society encourages youths to pursue skills acquisition so they can escape poverty and become self-reliant, but after acquiring these said skills, a lot of them are still poor because they haven’t gained the knowledge to help them utilize their profits in such a way that their money is put to good use. But instead, the cycle of poverty continues albeit.
Reasons for Upgrading Skill Acquisition Programs
For this reason, the following solutions are my recommendations for upgrading the skill acquisition programs in the country.
- Skills acquisition was put in place to help individuals become self-reliant, however, even after acquiring these skills, a lot of individuals still struggle to make ends meet, why is that? Whilst advocating skills acquisition, financial management and planning should be incorporated in the training to help individuals fully live balanced lives and also to become fully empowered.
- Given how our economy is and how far the world has progressed, it is necessary to equip youths with the right skills that is what true empowerment is. The transition from the old to new is imperative if we want to grow and equip the youths for the next generation. Vocational skills are no longer sufficient given the pace the world is in. We live in a connected world where digital skills have become a prerequisite to the growth of any business, and also because it is in high demand, it is necessary to subsidize the prices of acquiring digital skills and also combining it with other kinds of skills.
- It is also necessary to provide internship opportunities after acquiring skills, this is essential as it would enable individuals to acquire hands-on experience after acquiring the skills. Platforms such as Digify Africa and Uk/Nigeria tech hub engage in programmes like these. After training individuals, they go the extra mile of placing their students on internships to enable put to practice everything they have learnt.
- Another aspect that should be looked at is the issue of funding. After acquiring the necessary skills, it is important to help these individuals with funds for their startups.
Most skills acquired are not put into practice so much because individuals still struggle with funding for their businesses and as such, they operate on lower echelons.
The points above will go a long way in restructuring skills acquisition pattern in Nigeria whilst helping individuals and the community at large.
We believe with this article you now see the reason to upgrade your skills. we have to move from the normal vocational skills to digital. The world is going digital and we need to also upgrade our skills digitally. You can check out digital skills you can start with this year.
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