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Minister seeks urgent intervention to tame youth joblessness

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Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mohammed Abdullahi

Minister of State for Science, Technology, and Innovation, Mohammed Abdullahi, has expressed concern over a 2020 report suggesting 65 million Nigerian youths would be out of jobs due to a lack of skills in the next five years.

The minister, who spoke in a goodwill message at the Generation Unlimited Nigeria Launch in Abuja, yesterday, said the figure is alarming and gloomy, hence the need for urgent redress.

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He was reacting to a 2020 report by Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum (WEF), that in the next five years about 85 million jobs would be disrupted around the world due to lack of skills, population, robotics, remote work, etc. The report further indicated that the 85 million persons comprise 65 million Nigerian youths.

Abdullahi, therefore, called on the government and the Organised Private Sector to initiate urgent interventions to engage Nigerian youths and make their lives more meaningful.

He commended the initiatives of recruitment company, Jobberman, towards developing soft skills curriculum and placements to make youths employable and capable of generating employment.

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The minister said the Generation Unlimited platform seeks to create improved education, skills, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities for young persons. He said the programme is at the heart of challenges facing the global youth population. According to him, the initiative by United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) would help in bridging the gap.

“The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation are willing to partner with UNICEF in this direction especially in Technical and Vocational Education Training as a tool to engage the youths meaningfully,” he said.

He noted that the ministry would also collaborate with UNICEF to create sustainable and skilled youth manpower for job and wealth creation.

He thanked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for his efforts in addressing the challenges by churning out youth engagement programmes through the Economic Sustainability Plan.

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