Rising to the challenge of unemployment in Nigeria, there are pockets of for-profit organizations and human resource firms whose primary function is to identify, train and hire talents for businesses. However, there are very few of these firms that intentionally and actively do the same for the third sector. There is a need for individuals who have the passion and the potential to exhibit empathy to drive change in society. The responsibility of equipping unemployed youth with work readiness skills has become a shared concern for critical stakeholders such as the development sector. Identifying and attracting talent for the sector is one of the goals of LEAP Africa’s iLEAD Fellowship. The Fellowship is helping graduates develop transferable skills and competencies required to access and excel on the job. Critical pathways for these Fellows are training, mentoring, personal development and experience.
At the Social Sector Training- a component of iLEAD Fellowship – held in Akwa Ibom from 16 through 18 January 2019, Fellows were taken through a systematic process of identifying their purpose and how it links to their choice of a career in the development sector. Emerging evidence from the Social Sector Training already suggests that there has been a significant shift of mindset and Fellows are beginning to critically reflect on the appropriate careers to consider. Some of the trainees are beginning to nurse careers in entrepreneurship, which we consider a huge success as an alternative.
Using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a target point, in the year 2030, people in their early twenties today would have grown into their thirties and are expected to be key contributors to the economy. If collective efforts to nurture these young people today to become relevant and function within the framework of the SGDs are not taken, the vision is at best only a theory.
Although the iLEAD Fellowship is one out of the very few interventions with a noble focus of preparing young people to create a better future all, there is still a lot of ground to cover. As a youth-focused leadership organization, LEAP’s strategic focus going forward is built around building an ecosystem of young talents for the development sector to collaboratively scale the level of impact by providing resources and technical support.
Written by: Bernard Ibelih