Youth restiveness and unemployment in Nigeria: THE WAY OUT...

The Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said the Federal Government will invest in technical and vocational education to create about one million jobs through collaboration with educational institutions in Taiwan, South Korea and United Kingdom to create access to functional vocational education for Nigerian youths.

He says the focus is to use technical and vocational education to create jobs for Nigerian youths. The World Bank advocates a “three-lens approach” to youth empowerment involving:

• Working for youth as beneficiaries
• Engaging youth as partners
• Supporting youth as leaders

According to the World Bank, policymakers should frame correct social as well as economic policies based on these “youth lenses”. To bring this about requires the following broad initiatives:

Changing the Policy Environment: The policymakers need to expand access to and enhance the quality of education and health services. The policymakers need to give young people a voice to articulate the kind of required assistance and the opportunity to participate in the delivery of assistance policies.

Develop Youth Capabilities: To help the young people to choose the best from these opportunities, policymakers need to develop the youth’s capabilities. To do this, the policymakers first have to recognize the youth of their country as a strategic resource and vital decision-making agents. They also need to make sure that the youth are well-informed, sufficiently resourced and judicious while making their decisions.

Provide Second Chances: The policymakers have to provide the young people with an effective system wherein they should grant the youth with second chances. For this, they have to implement target programs that would provide hope to the younger people as well as provide them incentives to positively reshape their destinies.

Increase Investment in Youth: If done properly, investment in youth especially during the five life transitions of youth will develop, safeguard and put in place proper human capital. As the youth undergo each transition from learning, work, health, family and citizenship, public policies and investments in youth can determine their directions and can prevent the youth from going off-track especially when there are economic crises and markets do not provide sufficient economic opportunities.

Create a Productive Working Life: Once youth obtain the necessary skills, it is important to deploy those skills. This should be done by framing policies and implementing programs that would benefit the rich and poor so that there is fair and even competition.

The states have to realize that freeing up their economy to foreign investment not necessarily restricts their role but in fact increases their role in the economic affairs. The policies that open up the economy will become youth friendly only if the government is able to direct proper resources towards the youth and provide them access to jobs that are created due to liberalization of the economy.

Frame Policies that Enhance Youth as Decision Makers: policymakers in countries where youth economic marginalization is a major reality need to help young people make appropriate decisions to seize the opportunities that do exist. In the contemporary world, young people increasingly make their own life-course decisions on their own. These affect their future.

The state needs to inform the youth about these and other issues unknown to youth by intervening in the school and educational institutions on a regular basis, by making use of the media, by enhancing the content of campaigns directed towards the welfare of youth and by harnessing new technologies that would help to educate the youth.

These include informing youth through social campaigns highlighting the importance of education. The states and policymakers also need to tap worldwide knowledge with the help of new technologies such as the Internet to inform youth.

Direct Programs Properly: This is in fact one of the most important things that states need to do to overcome the youth economic marginalization. An economic program targeted towards enhancing the social and economic welfare of youth is of no use if it fails to reach the youth who need it.

This is especially applicable to developing countries as many policies that government frames for the benefit of the youth are unable to reach them adequately due to the intermediate and corrupt forces that create a divide between the rich and the poor.




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