GE skills White paper recommends strategy to harness demography dividend
· Highlights partnership with government
General Electric, Nigeria today, in Lagos, launched the Skills White Paper, a research document targeted at improving the capacity of Nigeria to harness the potential of its growing young population.
According to the white paper, Sub Saharan Africa is estimated to be home to a quarter of people aged 24 and below by 2030 with Nigeria contributing the most significant number of Africa’s youth population.
The document with the title Building strong workforces to power Africa’s growth: The future of work in Africa conforms to the determination of GE, to partner which countries and other global concerns (where necessary) to localise skills and build the capacity of host countries to gainfully employ their teeming population in the near future.
The Skills White Paper identifies that Nigeria is currently unable to provide jobs and prospects to majority of its young and growing population, a situation which is buttressed by statistics that put youth employment in the country at 50 per cent.
Lazarus Angbazo, President & CEO, GE Nigeria, has advised that this situation must change “because it condemns large numbers of young people to low living standards and represents a terrible waste of human capital that undermines future economic growth, but also because it poses a risk to social and economic stability”
He noted, however, that the country stands to reap enormous dividends from the opportunity that its human capital presents if it prepares to adequately engage this potential workforce. Angbazo pointed out that achieving this would propel growth positively and engender prosperity amongst the people with families having more money to spend on the education and healthcare needs of families.
To harness the opportunities that the future presents, the GE boss said his company embarked on a thorough interrogation of the situation that the country faces at the moment, and has come out with recommendations highlighted in the Skills White Paper.
The steps recommended by the white paper include: A stronger education system with with deliberate emphasis on science, technology, education and mathematics; more open and flexible labour markets and a broader talent localisation strategy pursued in partnership with global companies; and exploring the pipeline of skills needed to leverage the technological advances of the future.
Dignitaries at the launch, which held at The Intercontinental, Victoria Island, Lagos included Dr Enase Okonedo of the Lagos Business School, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Adeola Adetunji, Managing Director, Coca Cola and Publisher of BUSINESSDAY, Mr. Frank Aigbogun.
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