By Olugbenga Salami
As Nigerians joined others in marking this year’s the World Youth Skills Day, WYSD, the senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Uche Ekwunife Iyom has emphasized on the importance of basic vocational skills acquisition by the youth in addition to the formal education from secondary and tertiary institutions.
Speaking on the theme for this year’s theme, titled: “Transforming youth skills for the future”, the legislator urged government and public office holders at all levels to invest in skill empowerment programmes for the youths within their jurisdiction.
Ekwunife, who spoke through a goodwill message released to mark the occasion, said with such programmes, the unemployment gap among the youth will be bridged and by extension quell youth restiveness and insecurity being faced in the country.
Highlighting her efforts at the 9th Senate, she disclosed that through her empowerment and skills acquisition programmes, thousands of young people within Anambra Central Senatorial District and beyond have had the opportunity to acquire various relevant skills by engaging in the series of programmes which she has organised.
“Today, I join the rest of the world to celebrate the #WorldYouthSkillsDay. The strategic importance of equipping young people with the needed skills to succeed in the 21st century cannot be over emphasized.
“Gladly, through our legislative efforts and interventions, thousands of young people within Anambra Central Senatorial District and beyond have had the opportunity to acquire various relevant skills by participating in our series of empowerment and skills acquisition programmes.
“In line with my commitment towards achieving the sustainable development goal of decent work and economic growth for our youths, I remain committed to facilitating interventions that directly impact the lives of young people,” she stated.
Ekwunife encouraged youths not to rely on their certificates and white collar jobs but also be relentless and proactive in their pursuit to acquire basic entrepreneurship and vocational skills in order to become self employed and reliant.
Some of the programmes highlighted by hee include distribution of laptop computers to youths in her Senatorial District; entrepreneurship development training for youths in Anambra; Vocational training for youths and women in seven LGAs in Anambra; Development of skills and capacity development on confectioners for youths and women through the National Board for Technology Incubation.
Others are training on use of NBBRI finished products in building through modern masonry, painting and carpentry for skilled technicians; Capacity training on snailery and fishery; capacity building on empowerment of MSMEs in creating value addition to strategic raw materials in Anambra State through the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, among others.
The World Youth Skills Day is celebrated every year on July 15 to provide essential skills to youngsters around the globe so that they can get employment.
The day helps in disseminating awareness about the importance of skills in getting good job opportunities.