World Youth Skills Day 2022: Transforming youth skills for the future

| July 8, 2022

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The only thing constant in life is change, whether in appearances, relationships, or career choices. This is because we live in a dynamic world, and as it evolves, we need to grow with it by consciously and consistently learning, unlearning, and relearning new concepts each day.

Even as the world's economy fights to bounce back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is shifting from the reality we used to know to a different one. During the pandemic, in order to prevent the spread, businesses and institutions were closed down to reduce physical human interaction.

This affected the economy negatively and placed a lot of lives on hold. As a result, people started to explore other possibilities for carrying on with their lives. Schools adopted virtual classes, while organizations adopted the work-from-home concept. Various other ideas and opportunities sprung up, but embracing digitalization was the root of all this.

A couple of years ago, people could choose whether or not to acquire digital skills pending their chosen career path. But now, digital skills are interwoven with most in-demand job roles, leaving people with almost no choice.

This year's World Youth Skills Day's theme, Transforming youth skills for the future, centers around how the new developments inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic are drastically resulting in unemployment and clamors for urgent intervention.

According to the United Nations, enterprises and organizations brought skills development almost to a standstill due to lockdown measures introduced during the pandemic. Training was interrupted for 86 percent of apprentices and 83 percent of interns/trainees. Nearly half of the enterprises have stopped paying stipends or wages to apprentices, interns, and trainees.

The way forward is to invest in human development by setting up systems where people needing digital skills can easily access them. Already, we have an existing system in Tech4Dev where people can acquire digital skills for free through our various programs.

The aim is to create access to decent work and entrepreneurship opportunities and platforms for Africans through digital and technology skills empowerment and advocacy. Our vision is to equip Africans with digital and life skills that foster economic prosperity, financial freedom, and sustainable development.

In addition, we have also implemented systems to ensure that our beneficiaries can easily pass down knowledge. Currently, one of our beneficiaries from the Digital Skills For Employability training, a program designed to equip people with skills relevant in the workplace, facilitates our Women Techsters Bootcamp program.

This development is exciting, and we are hopeful and confident that in the coming years, we can effect noticeable change in our community and Africa in a couple of years through our programs and other related programs from organizations that share similar values.