Stakeholders drawn from the public and private sectors have emphasised the need to empower the nation’s youths with soft skills such as emotional intelligence and interpersonal relations so they can be more productive managers in the world of work.
The experts, who spoke recently at the CEO Roundtable on Sustainability organised by the Lagos Business School’s First Bank Sustainability Centre (FBSC) in Lagos, observed that the youth have been unable to play an active role in the nation’s economic life due to the current dysfunctional educational system that emphasises rote-learning, but inadequately prepares them for white collar jobs as the only option for work.
To tackle this trend, they urged public and private sector players to reinvigorate the system by developing new curricula that focus on entrepreneurship, vocational skills, critical thinking, leadership, communication and soft skills from inception as the way forward.
On hand to share their deep insights on the subject of “Leading by Empowering: Youth, Skills Training and Unemployment in Changing Economy’, were: Mr Stephen Onasanya, CEO/GMD, First Bank Nigeria Limited; Mr Michael Ikpoki, MD/CEO, MTN Nigeria; Ms Parminder Vir Obe, CEO, the Tony Elumelu Foundation; Professor Pai Obanya of the Institute of Education, University of Ibadan and Dr Chris Ogbechie, Director, FBSC.
“In today’s world, certificates are not as important as skills for productive work. One critical skill that is sorely lacking in our society is management skill. Therefore, we urge that the teaching and learning of soft skills…be emphasised as sine quo non for success and leadership in the world of productive work,” they said in a communiqué issued after the event.