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Intensifying Skills Acquisition Among The Youth

Posted: Jul 19, 2016 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Fred Doc Nwaozor

On Friday July 15, the world over-celebrated the second edition of the World Youth Skills Day. The Day, which is aimed at enhancing the youth’s ability in order to make informed life and work choices, was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on November 11, 2014. World Youth Skills Day was initiated in the UN by the effort of the Sri Lanka Representative. The UN General Assembly calls on Member States to observe the day in an appropriate manner.

Skill can be classified into three major parts including cognitive skills, technical skills and interpersonal skills. A cognitive skill deals with ideas; technical skill is the ability to handle things or a certain human endeavour effectively and efficiency, whilst interpersonal skill is the ability to relate with people around you, usually in business or work places. There are hundreds of thousands of skills in existence such as sporting skill, cultural skill, installation skill, maintenance skill, manufacturing skill, management skill and what have you.

Skill is required in every area of human endeavour, and it enables the entrepreneurship drive of any nation to be actualised. The most important aspect of skill acquisition is that it benefits all classes in any society involved especially the masses.

A small or medium scale entrepreneur is expected to hire many skilled people to take on tasks that are outside of his/her skill set. However, every individual either a prospective leader or business personnel, must relentlessly strive to acquire the skills that will make him/her a great leader or a successful businessperson as the case may be.

Unequivocally, being good at starting a business does not automatically make one good at planning for growth. He/she must acquire planning skills that tie his/her vision to practical steps, which the business can take to realize that vision. The acquisition of the aforementioned skill is important because without it, your firm or business venture can stagnate and lose out to the competition.

One may have envisioned a smooth rise to the top when he commenced his business, but the truth is that he will surely encounter crisis or challenging situations. Whether it has to do with shortage of money or the loss of his facilities to a fire disaster, he must acquire the skills that would enable him to remain calm in times of turmoil and maintain his ability to make adequate decisions. This step is very vital because the affected person can learn to triumph when it looks like he could be defeated. Needless to say that skill acquisition in decision making remains an inevitable tool while carrying out a business strategy.

On the other hand, the importance of acquiring strong communication skills will be evident in all of one’s entrepreneurial activities. From networking to leadership, one needs to constantly and consistently update his communication skills to enable him form alliances and encourage consensus.

Taking Nigeria as a case study, you would noticed that most of our young ones or the youth are potentially preoccupied with variety of skills in various areas of human endeavour ranging from culture to sports, engineering/sciences, art works, and leadership, that need to be develop with a view to strengthening their respective entrepreneurship prowess towards nation-building.

To this end, there is need to encourage our young ones to be acquainted as well as acquire proficiency in one skill or the other within their reach. The schools can help in this regard by ensuring that the pupils or students regularly create time for guidance and counselling during their school hours. A good counselling would enable each of them to discover their potential skills or abilities thereby making them develop an interest in that area. The parents and guardians on their part should not hesitate to boost the morale of their children or wards in any skill they are fit in by providing all the needed materials or facilities for them to excel.

Inter alia, there is an urgent need to revive the various technical colleges and commercial schools situated across the federation that are currently moribund. And at the tertiary level, the Entrepreneurship Studies, which are usually done by the undergraduates as General studies, ought to be taken more seriously by the various school managements. More so, the ongoing Industrial Training (IT) and Teaching Practice (TP) schemes being observed by the Universities/Polytechnics and Colleges of Education respectively must be intensified by the concerned authorities. Above all, the various cultural heritages across the country need to be revisited with the aim of harnessing the required ones; this will go a long way to discover and reawaken thousands of skills among the youth.

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the annual World Youth Skills Day, it’s imperative for governments at all levels, the civil society, religious bodies, corporate organizations, and well-meaning individuals to intensify awareness on the importance of skills acquisition as well as look for a way they can contribute their respective quotas in the crusade with a view to eradicating the ongoing socio-economic crisis ravaging the country. Think about it!


Nwaozor, a Public Affairs analyst & Civil Rights activist, writes from Owerri