The federal government revealed its intention yesterday to implement an internship program within the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) aimed at enhancing practical skills, boosting youth employability, and bridging the gap between academic knowledge and real-world work experience,leadership reports.
The announcement was made by Ayodele Olawande, the minister of state for youth development, during the launch of a $50 billion fundraising initiative for the construction of a World Youth Peace Centre organized by the West African Youth Peace Mission (WAYPEM) in Abuja.
The internship program, as outlined by the minister, will be seamlessly integrated into the existing NYSC structure to offer corps members hands-on experience across various industries, equipping them with pertinent skills for today’s workforce.
Represented by his chief-of-staff, Mohammed Abdullahi, the minister explained that the objective behind this initiative is to place graduates of professional courses in environments where their specific skills can be refined during their service year. This, in turn, is anticipated to provide them with a competitive advantage in the job market post-service.
Additionally, the minister disclosed plans to inaugurate a technical committee on youth development in the coming weeks. This committee will concentrate on skills development for Nigerian youths, with an upcoming initiative titled “One Youth, Two Skills” slated for delivery in the first quarter of the next year.
Furthermore, the minister announced the redesign of the NYSC scheme in the second quarter of the following year to place a greater emphasis on imparting skills.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the current Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme (SAED) in the NYSC, the minister noted that it was not yielding the anticipated outcomes, emphasizing that not everyone possesses the aptitude for entrepreneurship.
President of WAYPEM, Dr. Godswill Richman, highlighted that the construction of the peace centre in Abuja would generate over 40,000 local jobs for the youth, addressing concerns related to the “Japa Syndrome.” The commercial complex within the center is expected to house a modern specialist university, a banking hall, an event center, multi-purpose training facilities for youths and women, administrative offices, and staff quarters.