By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Over 800 youths across the country, Wednesday, gave conditions ahead of Nigeria Youth Employment Action Plan, NYEAP, launch, and implementation.
This was according to a survey conducted from responses of young people who attended the decent work youth labs organised by the youth lab across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and tasked the government on, ensuring young people are meaningfully engaged in the NIYEAP implementation; creating access to digital skills programmes and job fairs for youth to take advantage of the digital economy; ensuring equality and rights of young workers especially girls with little or no educational qualifications are respected and protected; and providing opportunities for social businesses especially in the green economy to thrive and adequate funding and training for youth entrepreneurs.
The Labs were had support from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, the International Labour Organization, United Nations Children’s Funds, Nigeria, and Nigeria Youth SDGs Network.
The essence of the labs was to get feedback from a survey to understand the decent work aspirations of youths in the country.
The survey was conducted between July and August 2020 with 212,000 responses. According to the survey work-life balance is important to decent work coupled with good pay, which about 45 per cent of the respondents said lack of personal connection inhibits their decent work aspirations, while 55 per cent indicated that a higher education will help them get better jobs.
Basically, findings from the survey will serve as key component in the implementation of the NYEAP.
The NIYEAP is a fundamental framework to address youth employment and it emphasizes finding solutions with and for young people who are seeking decent and productive jobs in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
The programme is a four-year detailed plan developed by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to complement and operate in the context existing policies, frameworks, and strategies such as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the National Youth Policy, and the United Nations Development Partnership Framework.
The four key areas are education, employability, entrepreneurship, equality and rights and it serves as a commitment of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth.
However, according to the youths, access to digital skills, quality education, meaningful participation in decision-making, investment in the agricultural value chain, social entrepreneurship and improved working conditions are major concerns.
The National Coordinator of Nigeria Youth SDGs Network, Joshua Alade, said: “The youth lab is an opportunity for young people across Nigeria to take an active positive in designing the implementation of the Nigeria Youth Employment Action Plan and work with their State Ministry of Youth and Sports to design programmes that will support education, entrepreneurship, employability, equality and rights.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has shown the resilience and energy of youth in Nigeria by setting up food-banks for the vulnerable, donating hand sanitizers and involved in community mobilization to combat fake news.
“Young people are important to recover from the pandemic and the NIYEAP is a great opportunity to engage and empower youth to attain sustainable development.
“The youth labs had more than 850 young people share key recommendations on how the state and the federal government can ensure their decent work aspirations especially when the Nigeria Youth Employment Action Plan is launched.
“To address some of the recommendations suggested by young people, a micrositewww.decentwork.ng has been created to link young people to jobs and opportunities for human capital development locally and globally.”
The Youth Lab is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, International Labour Organization, and Nigeria Youth SDGs Network to co-create solutions with young people towards addressing the inhibiting factors to their decent job aspirations.
The Youth Lab was held across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory with the support of State Ministries of Youth and Sports.
Nigeria Youth SDGs Network is a coalition of youth-led and youth-focused civil society organizations localizing the United Nations 2030 Agenda in Nigeria. NGYouthSDGs focuses on youth leadership, storytelling, advocacy, and collaboration for sustainable community development.
NGYouthSDGs works with youth leaders and youth groups across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory towards meaningful youth participation and ensuring we leave no one behind.