The Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, in partnership with the West African Vocational Educational Academy (WAVE), recently organised training for unemployed youths in Lagos Island to empower them and enhance their employability skills.
In his remarks, the Commissioner, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, who advised them to take the programme seriously, said with the training they will get in the areas of team work, time management, good communication, among others, their employability skills will make a difference at the end of the day.
“It baffles me sometimes when people say there are no jobs, but the jobs are there; the requisite skills for them to work are not there. There are so many opportunities around you that you can harness.”
He expressed concern that rather than help their parents or other family members in their businesses, some youths prefer to stay at home redundant. “You should be able to seek for knowledge because whatever you have in your head is what you will be able to trade with.”
He advised them to harness the opportunity in the programme, as “it all depends on the way you present yourselves and share knowledge. Attendance is very important, there is no shortcut to success, it is only through hard work because no employer will pay employees for not doing anything. The onus is on you to take advantage of the opportunity.”
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Abdulhamid Olanrewaju, said a lot of sensitisation programme were carried out in the Lagos Island area, but the ministry got about 500 youths that were reduced to 200 at the end of the day to attend the programme.
“It is for us to keep encouraging the youths so that they can be useful in life. We see this as an opportunity to give them the requisite skills for them to be employed. We did the analysis of unemployment in the state and what we found was structural in nature.”
He said the training was targeted at the observed deficiencies and to ensure that youths have the requisite skills and mind set orientation change that will allow them to work and maintain it within the organisations that they will find themselves.
On how the ministry hopes to monitor the youths that will be trained, Olarenwaju said, “there is a database of all the youths, the people that went through the interview process, we should be able to match their skills set to the job. We are monitoring this effectively such that at the end of the day, we want to see the number of people that have enrolled and completed the programme. We have to use that as a lesson to make sure that even when they get jobs we will still be able to monitor them.”
A lawmaker representing Lagos Island Constituency II, Sola Giwa, said the core objective is to reduce unemployment, adding that after going through the three-week training programme it will make the graduates employable.
The Chief Executive Officer of WAVE Academy, Ms. Misan Rewane, expressed hope that the partnership with the state government will ensure that as many hardworking Lagosians as possible will be taught skills and connected to entry level jobs so that they can build a brighter future.
“We have been doing this now for three years and we have trained 1,000 unemployed youths and connected about 600 of them to jobs directly, while a good number got jobs on their own. For us, the partnership with the government enables us to multiply that huge number that we want. It is a lot of work.
“So when people say there are no jobs, it is not as if there are no jobs, but are they ready for work? So we have to start up with those who are ready for work. We are here to teach the hardworking young people who are willing to start training. When we start to build them up, we see the multiplier effect.”
On how her organisation will monitor them at the end of the training, she said, “we will continue to track them and as our alumni, we continue to support them on the job. This is a start and we are hoping to do at least 400 in the next few months.”