With over a decade of Strategic Skills Development, Job Creation and Social Enterprise Incubation Intermediary, MindtheGap has engaged in excess of 3 million Youths, trained and mentored over 500,000 and 5,000 respectively across Nigeria and Africa. The theme of this year’s international Youth Day “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World” centred around empowering young people with green skills in response to the global climate crisis.
The United Nations General Assembly officially declared August 12 as Youth Day in 1999. Since then, this day has been used to raise awareness about the challenges faced by the youth and ways of overcoming them, as well as to highlight the achievements of young people. It also draws attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. The first of its kind was observed on 12 August, 2000.
According to the United Nations (UN), Green Skills include technical knowledge, expertise and abilities that enable the effective use of green technologies and processes in professional settings. They draw on a range of knowledge, values, and attitudes to facilitate environmentally sustainable decision-making at work and in life. These skills are essential to a successful transition to the green economy, which the International Labour Organization (ILO), projected will result in the creation of 8.4 million jobs for young people by 2030. To achieve this, we must bridge the current green skills gap of more than 60 percent among young people. In the Nigeria scenario, the Executive Director of MindtheGap Ng. Tayo Olosunde, in his Book titled: Youthnomics, stated that Youth not oil is Nigeria’s greatest asset.
Worldometers.info reported that Nigeria has the largest population of youth in the world, with a median age of 18.1 years. UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, acknowledged “Nigerian Youth are known globally as pacesetters. Not only are they highly skilled and educated, but they are also innovative and entrepreneurial. He added that Fintech, e-commerce, and the digital economy were all driven by young people.
Being mindful of global green transition, MindtheGap shall continue to bridge the skills Gap existing among young people in Nigeria and Africa, towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 8: Decent Job and Economic Growth, by training and mentoring Youths to make them act as catalytic agents in building a greener future. We hereby call on all stakeholders, which includes the Government, Corporate organisations and individuals for partnership to enroot green skill into young people’s education, employment and everyday lives. Happy International Youth Day!