Introduction

The three-day long Lagos State Economic Summit – EHINGBETI 2021 came to an end on the 18th of February with at least 11 new resolutions birthed.

Ahead of the event, Techuncode, a leading technology platform in partnership with the State Government and selected tech innovative hubs within the State organized a preparatory Hub activation.

The series which was hosted by 8 different hubs including Cedar Stem formed part of the new resolutions that will now be addressed by the State Government ahead of the next summit.

In this post, we will be sharing a highlight of everything that went down at the various innovative hubs, although in this case at Cedar Stem.

This hub activation series held at Cedar Stem was themed 21st century skills – closing the unemployment gap for the next generation of leaders – Youth internship dynamics.

Hosted by Jackson Samuel, the session featured notable and seasoned speakers including Dr. Ibilola Amao, Principal Consultant, Lonadek Inc; and Blessing Okorafor, HR Business Partner, Lonadek Inc.

Overview on topic

Like other States across the nation, Lagos also has a high rate of unemployment which according to the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) was pegged at approximately 1.33 million people as of Q2 2020.

During the discussion, one major factor that is largely responsible for this seeming challenge is the lack of required or perhaps modern skills as the case may be.

However, this challenge has been found to not just be a sole responsibility of the government to fix, but also that of other stakeholders including the people themselves, tech hubs, as well as players in the private sector.

Discuss and Resolution

Having figured out the responsible factors responsible for the unemployment gap challenge in Lagos, below are some of the highlight of the discuss as well as suggested resolutions to guide the decision making of the Lagos State Government;

Adoption of Modern skills suitable for 21st century jobs

It is no longer news that jobs are beginning to take new form especially in the wake of modernization.

You will agree that most jobs are beginning to incorporate digital solutions, and as such employers are also seeking employees who are capable of utilizing and maximizing this form of solution.

However, to achieve this, employees must be equipped with such skills as Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Creativity.

The current reality has shown that it is good to have technical skills, but that alone is not sufficient to position an individual to be a preferred candidate.

Hence, the Lagos State Government should consider partnership with hubs to upskill youths on idea generation, courage to explore, idea generation, oral presentation and problem solving.

Private Sector- Government Partnership; creating an enabling ecosystem for Youth Internships, Placement, and Volunteering.

Often, digital skills or modern skills generally are not taught in Nigeria schools syllabus, and as a result, youth mostly have to look elsewhere in order to be exposed to this form of knowledge.

This is where the need for internship, placement and volunteering creeps in when looking for a lasting solution to fill the unemployment gap in Lagos.

The use of internships to expose the youths to different job profiles and employers gives a firsthand approach to jobs.

Knowing the usefulness of the above, the Lagos State Government should partner with private organizations and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) to bring young people into work.

To further confirm the importance of internship here, a survey prepared by NACE Centre for Career Development and Talent Acquisition shows that more than 90 percent of its respondents think earning and learning is quite very important.

Integrating Tech Hubs into the development of Lagos State and Nigeria

Access to the tech ecosystem has been made easy with the establishment of innovative hubs and communities where Nigerians can acquire modern skills as well as meet with other people of like minds.

In addition to the existing ones, the Governments should provide structures and facilities where young Nigerians can learn or upskill their skills to take advantage of jobs of the present and jobs of the future.

Lagos State is closely watched as the next big hub center in Africa as Nairobi seems to be doing a lot. This is due to the youth population in Lagos who’s entrepreneurial spirit have led them to create bankable ideas.

An emerging digital ecosystem is particularly crucial as a multiplier of that growth, because access to smart phones and other devices enhances networking, job-creating resources, and even financial inclusion.

Interestingly, these youths are mostly able to create jobs rather than applying for one once they are well settled in an enabling environment.

As seen in the Infographic above, at least 70 percent of the respondents in a survey by ResearchGate believes in the importance of incubation hubs to job creation in Nigeria.

Lagos State Government to Create More Jobs – An opportunity of a huge Workforce

As you may be aware by now, acquisition of modern skill isn’t mostly enough, especially in a system where job opportunities are very scanty.

Here, the solution, as much as it lies on the private sectors, also largely lies on the State government shoulder who is the biggest stakeholder in this case.

Lagos stands as the largest city in Nigeria and Africa; and while this is a continuous development, experts forecast that its population could reach 30 million by 2035.

With a rapidly-increasing population comes the need to increase job employment especially for the youth who happens to be an organic asset for the government

The population explosion in Lagos portends either of two scenarios: First, a huge workforce to positively transform the state economically.

On the other hand, Lagos could experience a complex situation where frustrated youth engaged in illegal activities, leaving the state vulnerable and unattractive to foreign investments.

Many youths who do not have formal education come into Lagos State in search of income opportunities and ultimately take up informal jobs.

Here, a proactive government action is required to ensure that opportunities exist for technical training; one that equips uneducated youth with a trade or craft skill to secure or establish decent jobs

About Cedar STEM Hub

The Cedar STEM and Entrepreneurship Hub is a Networking and Empowerment Centre for young people. Here, Youths are encouraged to develop and incubate their innovations and business ideas so as to help boost the Nigerian economy.

Registered participants who are either STEM or business-inclined are trained on different levels; thereafter, they proceed to develop their ideas through the various resources, support and infrastructure that the Centre provides.

About Techuncode

Techuncode, formerly known as AskIfa, is an independent online tech-centric media. The brand has a clear-cut mission of making tech-related content more appealing to the African reader with the intent of encouraging them to engage more with technology and inspiring her audience to create tech solutions of their own.

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