The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and Nigeria Youth Chamber of Commerce (NYCC) will commence the training of young Nigerians on soft skills in order to prepare them for the 21st century labour market.
This was disclosed at a pre-event joint media briefing by NOUN and NYCC at NOUN’s headquarters, Abuja on Wednesday.
The partnership is under the National Employability Development and Internship Programme(NESDIP).
Prof. Grace Jokthan, Director, Centre for Human Resource Development, NOUN, said that the training which would be launched on May 9 in Lagos, was in line with the agreement signed by the institution and NYCC in 2017.
“It is also part of our contribution to the mandate of creating employment by making our graduates employable.
“45 percent of Nigerian youths are unemployed and this is huge; something must be done urgently to reduce youth unemployment.
“The programme entails three weeks in-house training in soft skills as Teamwork, Communication Skills, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving Skills, Work Ethic, Flexibility/Adaptability, Interpersonal Skills among others that are not found in the curriculum.
“It is aimed at building the competencies of our young people to function seamlessly in the 21st century labour market,’’ she said.
The professor said that corporate entities would be engaged for internship for a period of three months while the trainees would be issued National Employability Proficiency Certificates afterward.
According to her, the launching would be followed by a career fair on May 10.
Jokthan said that the training would be carried out in all NOUN’s study centres across the country.
On his part, Mr. Peter Ayim, Chairman, NYCC, said that employability was a critical challenge for young people; hence the chamber deemed it necessary to address the issue.
“We want to leverage on NOUN’s network of study centres across the nation; we are looking forward to working with stakeholders in human capital development.
“We hope to develop a critical mass of young people highly inspired to work,’’ he said.
Ayim said that the training targeted I million young persons per quarter and was open to sponsorship from private firms, individuals and development partners.