Centres plan to tackle unemployment, evaluate NYSC-SAED programme

Centres plan to tackle unemployment, evaluate NYSC-SAED programme

By Sylvester Thompson, Abuja.

 

The National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) and the Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies (CGSPS) have evaluated the impacts and design of the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development (SAED) programme.

 

The assessment carried out on Thursday in Abuja, was aimed at generating evidence in guiding policy and practice towards boosting decent youth empowerment strategies in the country and Africa at large.

 

Dr John Omimakinde, Acting Director-General of NACETEM, said at a workshop that the assessment came at the right time when unemployment rate was “pegged at around 33 per cent in the country”.

 

He said that the workshop, organised by NACETEM and other collaborators, was to come up with practicable solutions to address unemployment, rather than magnifying the problem.

 

“It is actually the way to go, as all hands must continuously be on deck to change the narrative of gloom in the country.

 

“As a topmost policy research institution, NACETEM has been active in guiding policies, especially in the area of entrepreneurship studies, to take away guesswork from how entrepreneurial activity is done,’’ Omimakinde said.

 

Prof. Adebayo Bamire, the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, said that “considering the rate of unemployment, projects that would support policy, programmes and interventions in promoting youth entrepreneurship and empowerment were important.”

 

Bamire, who was represented by Dr Olufumilayo Banjo, Director of CGSPS, OAU, said that such projects would contribute to the process of reducing the burden of youth unemployment.

 

“You will agree with me that Nigeria at this time is facing problem of unemployment among the youth, which continues to increase on a yearly basis.

 

“Entrepreneurship, therefore, means a key factor of economic growth and it is gaining global acceptance as an essential aspect of economic vitality that can promote productivity, innovation, economic growth and employment.

 

“Therefore, any strategy, intervention, programme or policy that would improve youth entrepreneurship and their opportunity for decent jobs and business creation is very important,’’ he said.

 

Mr Adebayo Olofinyehun, Assistant Chief Research Officer, NACETEM, said that the participants came to discuss the critical issue of unemployment and the challenge of creating decent employment for the youth in the county.

 

He said that in efforts to overcome this challenge, several national and international stakeholders had played key roles, citing the NYSC-SAED programme as an example.

 

Olofinyehun said that the programme introduced apprenticeship-based entrepreneurship training in several skill sectors to hundreds of thousands of Nigerian graduates annually, with the aim of preparing them for self-employment and reliance.

 

“The major objective of the evaluation was to assess the impacts and design of the NYSC-SAED Programme, which is the largest apprenticeship-based entrepreneurship intervention in Nigeria.

 

“We are particularly keen to know if an apprenticeship-based entrepreneurship intervention can boost the entrepreneurial interest of educated young Nigerians.

 

“Whether it can motivate them to start their own businesses, equip them to become employers of others and prepare them to secure decent paid employment,’’ Olofinyehun said.

 

Presentations were also made on the overview of the NYSC-SAED programme, as well as the Design and Impact of an Apprenticeship-Based Intervention in Nigeria.

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