iCreate has launched the first edition of its Skill Fest 2018 to tackle Nigeria’s unemployment challenge.
The initiative hopes to provide a sustainable solution to the dearth of skills needed in the economy for national and economic growth, bearing in mind the high rate of youth’s out of a job.
It was launched in the Nation’s Capital City, Abuja.
The inaugural Skill Fest, one of Africa’s biggest empowerment competition is focused on creating a conscious awareness of the importance of skills development. It hopes to provide a platform that tends to the oft-ignored technical skills section of educational training.
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The Chief Executive Officer of iCreate Africa, Mr. Bright Jaja, while addressing journalists in Abuja, said the vocational skills event was also designed as a catalyst to promote the advancement of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
He said, ‘Over the years, the government has invested considerable efforts in improving university education with insignificant attention paid to technical education.
‘This dichotomy has reinforced the belief by teachers and parents success is measured strictly by obtaining academic qualifications.
‘This is the foundation of the problem of unemployment and employability that we have in Nigeria and we need a shift in mindset to change this,’ he added.
Jaja, noted that the organisation recognised that technical and vocational skills are the bedrock of a thriving economy, stressing that the goal was to influence the government to adopt policies that encourage the study of TVET and the private sector to invest in setting up technical institutions around the country.
The inaugural edition would host 150 competitors across 14 skills set including bricklaying, tiling, carpentry, plumbing, hairdressing, make-up, tailoring, web design among others.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Board and the former Minister of Information, Frank Nweke Jr, said that what Jaja had been able to put together was a testimony to the fact that Nigerian youths are not lazy.
He noted the impracticality of certificates to sustain lives by saying certificates do not feed people. He also added that skill is the universal currency of the 21st century.