Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The federal government has concluded plans towards sending over 50,000 unemployed youths to different organisations on a six-month internship.
The move, according to the government, was to prepare them for job experience which it noted, had been the bane of employment for the Nigerian youths as it adds to working experience.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare who disclosed this in Abuja, at the 1st National Competition of Student Entrepreneurship Activity Hub (SEA-Hub),said the development was in accordance with government’s Work Experience Programme, (WEP)waiting to be unveiled.
Dare who regretted that lack of job experience had denied many graduates employments, further explained that government’s action would help the youth to “learn work ethics.”
He said: “Very often, most of our graduates are unable to get jobs simply because they do not have work experience. Rather than roam the streets for four years without employment or any experience, we intend to inject between 25, 000 to 50,000 of our youths in the next one year to work for four months or six months in different organisations for some kind of internship for them. It grounds you, it helps you to learn work ethics and if you are lucky, and you excel, these companies can easily employ you full time.”
He also noted with regret that while “six to ten years old in America can do coding, we are struggling at age 35, 30, 28 to learn coding” saying,” I think that if we start early for artificial intelligence, this country can prepare its youths for the challenges of the 21st century in national development.”
While hailing organisers of the Student Entrepreneurship Activity Hub for the event which saw many secondary school students displaying their entrepreneurial skills, Mr. Dare said the future belongs to the youths who can were not only innovative but who were also bold and can take risks.
“It’s all about creating opportunities, this programme has created and is creating opportunities for the young ones.
“The future belongs to our youths who can self-start, who are innovative, who are bold , who can take risks and who can work together with their own peers to innovate for the future,” he noted.
He said: “Our youths now need investment. We need to invest in their skills, we need to provide opportunities for them not just when they at the university but right from when they are in primary and secondary schools most especially and then they will be ready for the 21st century.
“On the 18th of this month, I will be joining a Nigerian telecommunication expert who will be launching the first set of books on artificial intelligence for primary schools and secondary schools because that is the way that we need to start.
“Six years old, ten year old in America can do coding, we are struggling at age 35 30, 28 to learn coding and I think that if we start early for artificial intelligence, this country can prepare its youths for the challenges of the 21st century on artificial intelligence for national development.
“On Tuesday, November 12, next week, the entire month has been designated as the Africa Youth Week by the African Union with the theme: One million by 2021.
“We are going to launch the Nigeria National Youth Policy for Nigerian youths which has eleven thematic areas-Youths and sports; youth and science and technology; youth and environment; youth and education, youth and drug abuse, etc
“But also, we will launch an app that we have developed, so every youth can have that national policy on his or her smart phone, laptop or computer but more importantly, we are going to launch what we call the new DEEL for the Nigerian youth.”
He explained that:” The D is for digital literacy and skills acquisition, E for entrepreneurship, the next E for employment and the L for leadership and mentoring.”