The Head of Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Nigeria, Christopher Wenzel, has said the German government has identified the need to address growing skill gap in Nigeria, particularly by providing necessary skills to tackle youth unemployment and migration.
Speaking in Abuja at the Skills Development for Youth Employment (SKYE) Stakeholders’ meeting organised by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Wanzel said the initiative aimed at providing demand-based skills to address youth unemployment and irregular migration crisis.
“We see the potential in Nigerian youth. What we try to do is to make use of that capacity. We want to bring together the demand for work, labour, for service together with supply. We don’t want to train people who don’t find jobs; we want to train them to find decent jobs. We want to meet the demand of the industries,” he said.
With the unemployment rate hovering around 18.8 per cent, Wenzel disclosed that the initiative would primarily target the agricultural as well as the construction sector
Country Director, GIZ, Dr. Thomas Kirsch said over €20 million have been invested in the programme already, stressing that the buy-in of the private sector would be required to increase the level of impact that the initiative would create.
Kirsch, who said the growing mismatch between the supply and demand for skills in the labour market remained a key challenge in the country, said the group would train over 50, 000 youths through the programme in the next four years.
According to him, the SKYE project focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and skills for the labour market through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), to tackle unemployment and underemployment, root causes of irregular migration and socio-economic degradation in Nigeria.
Vice President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, said it is critical for Nigeria to address the skill gaps, adding that there was a need to create opportunities for the youth to be engaged.
The Skills Development for Youth Employment (SKYE) project, a four-year project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and implemented by GIZ with focus on the acquisition of knowledge and skills for the labour market through TVET, to tackle unemployment and underemployment, root causes of irregular migration and socio-economic degradation in Nigeria.