NGYouthSDGs, MWFAAN, Jobberman and American Corner hosts an Employability Workshop for Young Nigerians

Lagos, Nigeria, 2nd May 2024 – Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more crucial for young people to be better trained to navigate the complex job market and access decent work. The 2030 Agenda also aims to “promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all”. Despite the contributions to promote decent work among young people, the 2023 National Bureau of Statistics revealed that in Q3 2023, the combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment increased to 17.3%. Aside from unemployment, young Nigerians are confronted with low pay, temporary and precarious unemployment, absent social protection and unsafe workplace environments. 

In a concerted effort to address this critical issue head-on, Nigeria Youth SDGs, registered as the Network of Youth for Sustainable Initiative (NGYouthSDGs), in partnership with the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association of Nigeria (MWFAAN), Jobberman Nigeria, and American Corner, Ikeja organised a one-day transformative workshop for fresh graduates, NYSC members, and young job seekers, with the theme, Job Sprint: Employability Workshop for Youth.

The employability workshop created a platform to address the youth skills mismatch and provide opportunities for recent graduates and unemployed youth to engage with seasoned professionals. The event featured a speech from Ms  Adetayo Otokiti who is the Youth Engagement and Learning Consultant at Jobberman, Nigeria to help youth understand CV Writing and how to prepare for interviews as well as Mr Bisi Popoola who is a seasoned Human Resource Expert at UAC Foods focused on Understanding your Rights as an Employee. There was an expert panel session that focused on the critical issues of employment, social entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship with speakers such as Ms Yewande Jinadu, Founder, CareerLife Nigeria, Ms Freda Anyanwu- MWFAAN Fellow, and Mr Kelvin Bob-Manuel, Senior Communications Specialist at Wave Academies. 

Mr. Bisi Popoola, in his enlightening session on “Understanding Your Rights as an Employee,” shed light on the legal framework governing employee rights in Nigeria. He emphasized key legislations such as the Labour Act of 2004, the Employee Compensation Act of 2010, and the National Minimum Wage Act of 2019. Mr. Popoola stated that “every employee has fundamental employee rights, including the right to a contract of employment, paid holiday entitlements, and proper notice before termination of service.”

In another session, Ms. Adetayo Otokiti spoke on CV writing and interview preparation. Stressing the significance of tailored CVs, Ms. Otokiti highlighted the importance of aligning CV content with specific job requirements. Moreover, she underscored the role of attitude and positive demeanour in interview success. “A well-crafted CV serves as a powerful marketing tool capable of advocating for candidates even before they step into an interview room.”

NGYouthSDGs Programmes Manager, Ms Opeyemi Ogundeji stated that the theory of change of NGYouthSDGs is to empower young people with the knowledge and skills they need to challenge systemic issues while influencing their peers and youth stakeholders towards youth-led change. She added that organising this Employability Workshop alongside the partners is one of the ways the organisation steers action. ‘’We believe that if young people are truly the leaders of tomorrow then collaborative actions such as this to prepare them with the requisite skills and knowledge to take up leadership roles and access to decent employment opportunities is important. We need more of our young people ready and with this workshop, we envisage that the knowledge shared by our esteemed speakers will contribute to unlocking the great power within each of the workshop participants for more effective career growth and economic development.”

According to Ms Chioma Nwakanma-Akanno, Publicity Secretary of MWFAAN, “A true leader is full of value. In a world where the odds are steeped against the young graduate, it has become even more imperative that one strives to stand out in the job market.” She added that MWFAAN which is an offshoot of the US Government’s investment in young African leaders, as a way of giving back, is pleased to partner with the NGYouthSDGS to host this Employability workshop. “This is an investment in the future of the Nigerian Youth, one we believe will contribute appreciably to the workforce and economic development of our Nation.

Young people benefitted from the training and we are grateful for the support of the speakers and our partners.

The employability workshop is part of NGYouthSDGs’ focus on creating opportunities for young people to acquire skills for decent work.