Worried by the recent UN report on the high number of young people severely affected by the Covid 19 pandemic, a Non-profit organization, Tech4Dev, has called for more attention to digital skills acquisition by youths to make them employable.
Joel Ogunsola, Tech4Dev’s co-founder and director of Partnerships & Sustainability, at the roundtable event organized by Tech4Dev to commemorate the 2021 World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) in Lagos State, reiterated the need to empower youths with digital skills to help them qualify for jobs in demand.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has left such an impact on the world economy. According to the recent update by the International Labor Organization (ILO), between April-June 2020, the world lost almost 400 million full-time jobs due to the pandemic.
“Combining this number with the number of people who were already unemployed before the pandemic brings us to an alarming unemployment rate. International Days like World Youth Skills Day are celebrated to shine a light on these issues and keep conversations going on sustainable ways to mitigate them.”
Speaking further at the World Youth Skills Day event, he said that to ensure that young people can access these growth opportunities, Tech4Dev is set to harness leading trends in digital literacy utilizing relevant research methodologies to better influence digital and STEM adoption.
“Our research will enable us to communicate with broader sets of audiences in ways that will facilitate decision-making following current and future digitalization activities.
Our research publications will understudy experiences people face whilst adopting technologies in Africa. For example, in some parts of Africa, we see that school leavers are stressed by their inability to find high-paying jobs due to a lack of sustainable digital skills, adequate policies, processes, and governance needed to create environments conducive to digital growth. We are committed to proferring sustainable methodologies through our research.”
Panelists at the World Youth Skills Day roundtable conversation including Lanre Akomolafe, chief product and innovation officer, Prunedge; Ade Olowojoba, founder Code Tutor; Ekundayo Ayeni, CEO Business Plus, shared insights on the importance of skills training as an add-on to help young people gain decent employment opportunities post-COVID-19.
They also noted that the government needs to create an enabling environment for young people, especially from a younger age, by being more deliberate in digital skills empowerment, most especially for those in rural communities.