L–R: Ahmed Alaga, Program Manager, Jobberman Nigeria; Lanre Coleman, General Manager, U-Connect HR Limited; Tumi Onamade, Senior Manager, Participant Engagement & Programs, United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria; Shakiru Lawal, Country HR Manager, Nestlé Nigeria PLC and ‘Goke Olaleye, Marketing Manager, Big Bottling Company Limited

As the world marks the International Youth Day, the Alliance for Youth Nigeria
has announced the conclusion of a vocational skills training program reaching
over 350 young Nigerians in Lagos and Kano States. The training, which covered
four skillsets – Solar panel installation, Graphics Design (Designs, social media
and web design), CCTV and Cable installation, and Beauty Care (make-up,
aromatherapy and massage), were delivered in collaboration with Whitefield
Foundation.

High flyers of the vocational skills training and recipients of start-up kits from the Alliance.

The vocational skills training is one of the projects of the Alliance designed in
accordance with the Alliance’s objective of reaching 250,000 young Nigerians
with employability and entrepreneurial skills to enable them secure gainful
employment or set up businesses of their own within 3 years. This objective,
which was announced during the launch of the Alliance, is in line with their
commitment to work together to address the challenges of youth unemployment
in the country with the associated social and economic impact.
Launched in August 2021, the Alliance is a business-driven movement of
organizations passionate about working together to help young people around
the country acquire the necessary skills to thrive in the world of work or create
their own enterprise. Members of the Alliance for Youth Nigeria include Nestlé
Nigeria, Jobberman Nigeria, Big Bottling Company, the United Nations Global
Compact Network Nigeria, U-Connect HR Limited and Sterling One Foundation
with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Lagos State
Employment Trust Fund and Activate Success International as partner
organizations.

Since inception, the Alliance has reached over 11,000 young Nigerians with
employability and entrepreneurial trainings, internship and mentoring
opportunities and job placements.
Projects delivered include:
• Soft skills training, covering personal effectiveness and time management,
effective communication, business etiquette, employability skills, emotional
intelligence, for NYSC and fresh graduates in November 2021 reaching 590
• Soft and employability skills training, covering critical thinking and
problem solving, creativity and idea generation, developing the right mindset
for the world of work, effective communication etc, in May and June 2022
reaching over 9,600 NYSC members in Lagos, Kano, Ogun and FCT
orientation camps
• Employability trainings for fresh graduates in April and June 2022,
covering career positioning, personal brand marketing, building winning
resumes, developing interpersonal skills, developing an entrepreneurial
mindset etc, and reaching over 610
• Vocational skills training, covering solar panel installation, graphics design
(designs, social media and web design), CCTV and Cable installation, and
Beauty Care (make up, aromatherapy and massage), in Lagos and Kano
states in August 2022 reaching over 350
The member and partner organizations have positioned themselves to invest in
joint and individual projects to give young Nigerians meaningful work
experience, internships, readiness-for-work training, and mentoring
opportunities and are committed to contributing towards the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goal 8 – to promote sustained, inclusive, and
sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent
work for all by 2030.
Celebrating the International Youth Day and first-year anniversary of the
Alliance, high-flyers of the vocational skills training were gifted start-up kits to
ensure the immediate take-off of their businesses. High-flyers from the graphics
design training were provided laptops, those from the Beauty, massage and aromatherapy training were provided make-up tool kits and massage beds while
high-flyers from the installation trainings were awarded complete toolboxes for
their vocation.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Shakiru Lawal, Country HR Manager, Nestlé
Nigeria PLC said, “Youth are the future of our world and Nestlé is determined
and committed to working with stakeholders and likeminded organizations to
help young people develop their skills so they can find jobs or create their own
businesses.”
“We are delighted with the progress we have made as an Alliance in the past
one year, reaching 11,000 youth. Yes, we are still a long way from our target, but
we have built the framework and alliances that will help us deliver on our
objectives. The provision of start-up kits to young people who excelled in the
vocational skills training is a significant step in the right direction”.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Lanre Coleman, General Manager, U-Connect
Human Resources Limited said, “Youth are the future of the nation. Every
investment towards their employability, engagement and empowerment is very
critical for the society’s good and sustainable progress”.
According to Innih Ikhide, Youth Engagement and Learning Manager Jobberman
Nigeria, “Youth in every society have the potential to stimulate economic growth,
social progress and national development. The Alliance for Youth Nigeria is
providing an ecosystem of learning where young Nigerians can upskill by
acquiring 21st century skills that will increase their chances of getting employed
or becoming self-employed. The testimonials from beneficiaries will continue to
motivate us to do more”.
For Naomi Nwokolo, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network Nigeria,
“Our one-year anniversary is proof that advancing decent work for youth
requires unprecedented levels of collaboration between key partners. The
Alliance serves as a catalyst for reducing unemployment and promoting youth
independence in order to increase labour and economic productivity in Nigeria.
We urge stakeholders to take collective action in promoting the Sustainable
Development goals, particularly SDG 4, 8 and 9.”.

In his comments, ‘Goke Olaleye, Marketing Manager, The Big Bottling Company
Limited, said, “Investment in young people support economic empowerment of
the nation and world at large. The Big Bottling Company Limited, while
congratulating Nigerian youths, remains committed to supporting their
aspirations for growth”.
In a statement on behalf of the Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports
Development, the Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister, Oluwakemi
Areola, said, “In the next 10 years, jobs would have evolved from the traditional
model we are familiar with now. It is imperative that Nigerian youth equip and
upskill themselves with the necessary skills (digital and vocational) to give them
added advantage and keep them better positioned for the continuous benefit of
decent work. The Ministry commends the effort and investment of the
Alliance in promoting economic opportunities for young Nigerians”.
On behalf of other participants, Oluwakemi Olatunfe, who participated in the
training in the Beauty category, commended the Alliance member companies for
providing the unique opportunity for the training and upskilling of young
Nigerians. Particularly delighted at the start-up kit awarded her by the Alliance,
she promised to fully utilize the training and the kit to start up her business,
thereby adding value to herself and her family.
The International Youth Day is celebrated annually on 12 August to bring youth
issues to the attention of the international and national communities, raising
awareness of major concerns that impact on young people, particularly as
related to health, education and employment while celebrating the potential of
youth as partners in today’s global society.
With over 13.9 million youths unemployed and millions in unstable employment
and underemployed in Nigeria, young people need the right skills and
experience to help them in a rapidly changing economic landscape and the
Alliance for Youth Nigeria is committed to continued investment in young people
for a better future.

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