On 15th July 2020, LEAD Resources joined YALI and NACCIMA to commemorate the World Youth Skills Day (WYSD). WYSD is designated by the United Nations to celebrate skillful youths who channel their competencies towards causes that benefit the society. By so doing, WYSD creates awareness about the value of youth skills development.
LEAD Resources commemorated WYSD by hosting a seminar themed, “The competencies the youth should develop to leverage on COVID-19 era opportunities.” The speakers at the event were Alhaji Popoola (Ogun State Coordinator, NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs) and Mr. Kehinde Sogunle (Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources).
How to Leverage Your Skills for Growth
Alhaji Popoola was the first speaker at the event. He taught, “How to leverage your skills for growth.” He stated that he was particularly pleased that the event was commemorated at a time where many have lost hope in Nigeria. The aim of his presentation was to help the youths identify skills (often regarded as useless) and determine how to make the contribute their quota by engaging their skills.
He explained that many youths regard their skills as irrelevant for income generation. He gave an example of a friend that loves to iron who established a laundry business that is scaling. Leveraging skills for growth begins by identifying one’s skills. He suggested that youths ask themselves the following questions to identify their skills:
- What can I do effortlessly?
- What do I derive joy in doing?
- What are my parents and grandparents good at?
- What skill do I believe can make me a better person?
Next, he emphasized the principle of apprenticeship. Submitting to a mentor helps one refine a crude skill to the end that it becomes money-spilling. Everyone needs to follow successful mentors to know the ups and downs to generating income from their skills as well as what made them successful.
He gave the following tips in submitting to mentorship:
- Understand that building a brand takes effort, patience and determination.
- Allow your mentor to determine the time-span of your apprenticeship.
- Note the points that your mentor makes at every opportune time.
- Determine to be a voice in your choice industry.
- Avoid bad company and societal influence.
- Connect with people of like minds.
He informed the youths that his organization, NACCIMA, pools information about relevant opportunities such as:
- Training with GIZ for the growth and commercialization of tomato and chili pepper.
- Access to CBN COVID-19 response loan (as well as multiple kinds of loans).
- Aso-oke textile production in an organization in South Africa.
He encouraged the youths to connect with organizations such as his, play their roles and benefit from the influx of information to develop their skills and/or scale their businesses.
He wrapped it up by emphasizing that in this digital era, businesses become seamless, efficient and worthwhile when digital competencies are integrated in the administration of one’s skills. He said, “If you want to work for the future, learn whatever you need to learn including AI.”
“If you want to work for the future, learn whatever you need to learn including AI.”Alhaji Moruf Popoola, Ogun State Coordinator, NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs
The Competencies the Youth Should Develop to Leverage on COVID-19 Era Opportunities
After acknowledging the efforts of NACCIMA and YALI in raising skilled youths especially in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Kehinde Sogunle (Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources), the second speaker for the day, took the stage at the WYSD celebration.
He started out by pointing out the fact that following the outbreak of COVID-19, a new era has emerged. Due to the restricted movement of all peoples for over 90 days, it is scientifically proven that this new lifestyle has been formed. He gave examples of how convergences happen online via the use of networking tools as opposed to unnecessary physical meetings.
Therefore, he highlighted the need to develop necessary competencies to thrive in this new era. He gave the following framework for personal discovery:
Self-Discovery – Self-Development – Self-Mastery – Self-Actualization
He said, “There are two types of people in life: Those who live with purpose and those who don’t.” In addition to the simple steps given by the first speaker, he gave the following steps to personal discovery:
- Understand why you are here.
- Identify where you are going to.
- Have confidence in your convictions.
- Determine how to arrive there (character and competence).
He said, “Those who create their life purpose are often able to live with extraordinary energy and motivation to overcome challenges.” He gave the example of the situation the Nigerian teachers have found themselves in: the inability to teach in classrooms and get paid. He explained that teachers in this age can thrive by sharing knowledge using new age tools and techniques to leverage their skills.
“Those who create their life purpose are often able to live with extraordinary energy and motivation to overcome challenges.”Mr. Kehinde Sogunle, Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources
Purpose is an intersection of the following:
- What you love doing.
- What you are good at.
- What the world needs.
- What you can be paid for.
Furthermore, he taught the concept of the virtual realm. The virtual realm is the realm between the physical realm and mental realm. For example, people wrote on paper tangibly but now write on devices intangibly. The former exemplifies the physical realm while the latter exemplifies the virtual realm.
He made the audience understand that this is the new normal for the new economy, the digital economy. He gave the elements of traditional economy:
- Resources, e.g. Raw materials.
- Secondary, e.g. Manufacturing.
- Tertiary, e.g. Real estate.
- Quaternary, e.g. Education.
He also gave examples of the elements of the digital economy:
- Resources, e.g. Big Data.
- Infrastructure, e.g. Data Carriers.
- Services, e.g. Software-as-a-service.
- Customers, e.g. IoT, eCommerce, eLearning.
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission gave a projection that a staggering $12 trillion & 380 million new jobs will be enabled by the digital economy in 2030. Especially in Africa (the continent with the largest and youngest workforce), the youths need to develop the new age skills to create solutions, play in the Digital Economy and make Africa great.
He taught that regardless of what a person studies, he or she can find a niche in the virtual economy. He highlighted that the critical areas and business imperatives that Africans can engage among the 17 global goals:
- Food & Agriculture.
- Transport, Infrastructure & Logistics.
Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.” Mr. Kehinde Sogunle explained that the problems we created in the traditional economy and physical space can only be solved in the digital economy and virtual space.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.”Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist
Furthermore, he encouraged the youths to choose to contribute to the global goals by leveraging technology. He explained that they will get value if they resolve to attain them.
After it was established that accelerated acquisition of knowledge and skills is required, he taught that it is wise to subscribe to the offerings of transition organizations such as LEAD Resources that help raise a new breed of competent youths that can take the world by storm.
He said, “Education + Vocational Skills + Computer Literacy are not enough to guarantee employability and entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy.” He stated that the required competencies for the digital economy are:
- Digital Literacy.
- Financial Literacy.
- Business Enterprise Literacy.
- Talent Management.
“Education + Vocational Skills + Computer Literacy are not enough to guarantee employability and entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy.”Mr. Kehinde Sogunle, Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources
He stated that LEAD Resources’ offerings for new age competencies include:
- Enterprise Development
- Access to Finance through Business Enterprise Development
- Start Up School Nigeria/Scale Up Academy
2. Digital Conversion/Leverage
- Digital Quotient
- Digital Economy Emerging Managers’ Programme
- Digital Economy Conversion Programme
- Turning Academic Research into Innovation
3. Personal Talent Management
- Personal Assessment
- Personal Digital Profiling & Management
4. Successor Generation Streaming Initiative
To learn more about these offerings, click here. He added some other relevant avenues for the youths to upskill such as:
- IBM Digital Nation
- Google Digital Skills
- LinkedIn Opportunity
He gave the ten jobs in highest demand in 2020 and encouraged the youths to explore and acquire skills in these areas:
- Digital Marketer
- IT Support
- Graphic Designer
- Financial Analyst
- Data Analyst
- Software Developer
- Project Manager
- Sales Representative
- IT Admin
- Customer Service
Mr. Kehinde Sogunle rounded off with the parable of the sower in the Holy Bible. He encouraged the youths to have hearts that are fertile soils by choosing to develop their skills, acquire competencies and revolutionize their world, one day at a time.
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