Equipping Corp Members with Skills

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Members of the NYSC who participated

Chiamaka Ozulumba writes that to reduce unemployment, cybercrime and insecurity in Nigeria, the ‘Be Better Project’ has engaged members of the National Youth Service Corps to equip them with adequate skills in preparation for the labour market after their service year

As part of its aim to equip national youth service corps members (NYSC) with sufficient skills to prepare for the labour market and give them more job opportunities, a non- governmental organisation, Be Better has launched a project tagged: ‘The Bridge’.

The project is said to build a bridge between corps members, based on the gap seen between skills they need to succeed in the work place and the insufficient education that has been received.

According to the Project Director of the Bridge Project, Mr. Omagbitse Barrow, this will help to reduce unemployment, cybercrime and insecurity in Nigeria

Barrow who is also the Chief Executive, Learning Impact NG, explained that, young people are unable to meet the criteria for the few and far between jobs that are available. He noted that “most organisations’ leaders and human resources professionals will agree that in spite of the high number of Nigerians graduating from both local and even international higher institutions over the last few decades, the actual quality of new entrants into the work place is increasingly getting worse.

“There are a number of factors that cause this, including the fact that most of our education curricular and program focus too narrowly on assessment rather than practice.

“We are schooled in various subjects that prepare us to take and pass examinations, but not enough attention is placed on the practical skills relating to these subjects so the entire project is to arm targeted people with what they really need to succeed in the work place and in businesses as entrepreneurs, which is much more than certificate that they have gotten from school. They need certain work and skill”.

He stressed that, ” the spirit and skills for entrepreneurship and enterprise that should drive mid-career professionals to establish entrepreneurial ventures are non-existent and our continue, continues to wallow in the mediocrity of a rent economy- with everyone waiting to land a job in the already over- bloated public service or to end upas a contractor to an increasingly corrupt government.”

Barrow stated that, “rather than whining and complaining about this dearth of capacity, my colleagues and I at Be Better foundation supported by Learning Impact NG and Learning Dimension Limited have decided to put our money and energies where our mouths are by implementing the Bridge Project- to build bridge between the inadequacies of our educational system and the work place of the present and the future.”

In addition, “this five-month long program will include classroom learning and real-life projects and learning activities to prepare 20 NYSC members to succeed in the workplace. The cohorts will learn a variety of work and life skills that will equip them not only to get jobs and create their own businesses, but more importantly to succeed in their chosen vocations and careers.

“They will become part of an alumni network that will avail them mentoring and support from Learning Impact and Learning Dimensions and open up opportunities for continuous professional growth and development through their careers.”

This project, he emphasised, “tends to reduce the insane increase in cyber crime and security threat-in the society”.

According to him, “all criminal act is derived from people thinking of success in a perverted manner. If you think your success is money at all cost, then you will get involved in crime. This project has helped participants to rethink and redefine success. By doing that, we hope to have created a paradigm shift in their mind , so that the desperado to become rich is gone and people can start thinking of success as a more sustainable journey.”

“It will help to cub other criminal activities including the growing rate of sucide and drug abuse in our society based on their narrow view of what success is. We all need to start thinking beyond cognitive passing of exams.”

“This challenge is thrown to the education system, our parents and teachers to have a rethink about developing life skills and having a well rounded education,” he added.