‘How SBI Media Workshop will create jobs for Nigerian youth’
Earlier in the year, the National Assembly revealed that it had suspended a Federal Government planned recruitment of 774,000 Nigerian youth under a Special Public Works programme.
Tackling youth unemployment anywhere in the world is as tedious as it is imperative, but for Nigeria with the unemployment rate currently at 27.1 per cent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, there is no other choice but to find ways to slow down youth unemployment if the economy must remain viable.
One Lagos businessman believes he has found those ways. Rotimi Bankole, CEO of SBI Media, says the SBI Media Workshops, which he launched last week, would capitalise on the impressive rate of mobile penetration in Nigeria to help more Nigerian youth become creators who can profit from the expanding media business.
Some forecasts suggest that Nigeria’s unemployment rate could rise to 33.6 per cent (or 39.4 million people) by the end of the year if urgent steps are not taken. Bankole believes if the country casts its eyes on the new openings in the media and creative sector, powered by digital technology, it might be possible to reverse this rise in joblessness, and by extension, roll back poverty.
“To try and avert a further decline in youth unemployment, it is important that we focus on preparing young people for the new opportunities in the labour market,” says Bankole. “At the same time, if we recognise how recent advances in media and technology are forming a potentially wider market that is more accessible and economically viable for Nigeria’s teeming youth population, we can make a considerable difference.”
According to a PwC finding, despite the global disruption caused by the pandemic, fixed broadband is on course to reach 1 Billion households this year. Unique Internet subscribers are also inching closer to 3.4 Billion by the end of 2020, while smartphone usage continues to rise.
PwC also predicts that Nigeria’s entertainment and media industry is expected to rise from $4.46 billion in 2018 to $10.5 billion by the end of 2023. The market is dominated by Internet revenue, which contributes up to 61 per cent of the sector’s revenue.
To the untrained eye, this may not mean much, but to Bankole and his team at SBI Media Workshops, this is a gold mine that could easily cut the unemployment ratio by half.
“We want to help many youths become creators and employ themselves with the tools they already have in their hands. We want to train and equip them as professionals in the media, creative, and communications sector, this is the answer that perfectly matches our expertise,” he said.
Also, access to capital has been identified as a major reason why many endeavours by young people fail to take off. Hence, SBI Media Workshops is empowering 10 participants per session with up to N200,000 in grant money to power their ideas and solutions. This further emphasises the importance of a program like this and guarantees success for the participants who could use the funds to set up businesses that could potentially employ more young people down the line.
Although technology is at the centre of it all, the jobs of the future and now will be created by people. The Media Workshops is uniting both the people and technology to open the media industry to young Nigerians. As digital technology continues to disrupt the traditional ways of doing business in Nigeria, career and business opportunities abound in the sector for professionals in a wide variety of fields within and outside the industry.
“By triggering ideation and monetisation in the creative, media, and digital space, we hope to become catalysts for economic empowerment of more than 2 Million young Nigerians over the next five years,” affirms Bankole.
Masterclasses and workshops as designed by SBI Media Workshops have been known to be effective and efficient. A 2016 Pew Research Centre survey found that 87 per cent of workers believe it will be essential for them to get training and develop new job skills throughout their work life to keep up with changes in the workplace.
Over a two-day period and series of six masterclasses, young Nigerians between 18 and 35 years will be trained to identify niche opportunities, create media value, collaborate with colleagues in their field, and learn to successfully sell their products and solutions to brands and clients.
Bankole and his team express confidence in the program they have designed.
“Those looking for a job or hoping to start a business will benefit from learning the concepts and principles taught. SBI Media Workshop is designed to be very interactive, motivating, and fun,” he said.
Facilitators for the workshop have been chosen from a pool of digital media entrepreneurs, brand managers, digital media strategists and buyers, editors, and publishers from legacy media, lawyers, business managers, and futurists.
The first session of SBI Media Workshop is scheduled to hold on November 14 and 15 in Lagos.
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