The high rate of unemployment in Nigeria has become a major problem plaguing the lives of Nigerian youths. This menace causes frustration, dejection and depression amongst others. In Nigeria today, youth unemployment has become one of the most serious socio-economic problems confronting the country. According to a December 2020 report by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, 42.5% (21.72million) of Nigerian youths are unemployed, and 21% of Nigerian youths are under-employed. 

While the Nigerian Government continues to create and implement several initiatives to reduce the rate of unemployment, the numbers continue to increase year after year – signaling the need for more efforts, particularly from the private sector, to combat this stress area.

In a bid to support government efforts, different organisations have come up with several initiatives to reduce unemployment by empowering Nigerian youths, and one of the companies joining the fight is MTN Foundation, whose “Skill Up!” initiative, offers a blueprint with regards to solving this teeming issue.

The “Skill-up!” formerly known as the Employability workshop, is a yearly skill acquisition initiative organised by the MTN Foundation, to train and equip graduating scholars – who are recipients of the foundation’s annual scholarship scheme – with the needed skills to thrive in the labour market.

To ensure efficiency, the MTN Foundation partnered with the Project Management Institute to train its 2021 set of graduating scholars on the importance of project management. In a two-week-long virtual workshop, the training was organised to equip the scholars with the technical skills to successfully handle projects and thrive after school. 

With over 100 participants in attendance, the scholars were exposed to information on how to effectively manage projects; the benefits of project management; the differences between product life span and project life cycle; the importance of project management as a change agent, among other topics.

Alexander Babs-Jonah, the Lead Facilitator of the project management training, spoke about the importance of project management in every aspect of our lives. “Project management is very essential for every project we want to carry out, no matter how small the project, when used properly, project management methodology will help to run projects successfully

Project management is an essential skill, everybody should acquire, as it is important in every field of work,” he stated.

“Skill Up!” is part of the overall youth development strategy by MTN Foundation for MTN scholars. The annual scholarship award seeks to recognise and reward high performing students in Nigerian tertiary institutions. It comprises the MTN Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme and the MTN Scheme for Blind Students. 

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