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WORLD YOUTH SKILLS DAY AND SAHARA GROUP’S EXTRAPRENEURSHIP PLATFORM

WORLD YOUTH SKILLS DAY AND SAHARA GROUP’S EXTRAPRENEURSHIP PLATFORM

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Talent comes to you naturally; a unique gift that helps you navigate stand out, according to award-winning actor, Will Smith. Conversely, skill is only developed by unending hours of beating on your craft. But you know what? It sometimes births talent in you, making the World Youth Skills Day an important vehicle for raising awareness and giving young people an opportunity to realise untapped potential.

Youth unemployment remains one of the world’s most pressing problems. According to a recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, in 2016 there were 259 million young people classified as NEET (not in employment, education or training (NEET) – a number that rose to an estimated 267 million in 2019 and is projected to continue climbing to around 273 million in 2021. In terms of percentage, the trend was also slightly up from 21.7% in 2015 to 22.4% in 2020 – implying that the international target to reduce the NEET rate by 2020 will be missed. Furthermore, one in five young people globally is NEET: Not in Employment, Education or Training. Three out of four young NEETs are women (ILO).

The above clearly shows the need for global attention and collaboration on providing skill training opportunities for young people across the globe. Sahara Group, working though the Sahara Foundation continues to invest in initiatives, projects and partnerships geared towards unlocking talent in young people in its locations across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Sahara Foundation contributes to youth development through its Extrapreneurship initiative. This concept involves creating an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs to thrive through funding, mentorship and access to networks and markets. Extrapreneurship provides a meeting point between entrepreneurial needs and opportunities through the digital platform, Saharahub.com.

Sahara Foundation has helped tens of thousands of young people across Africa achieve their aspirations through specialized skills training. The Foundation has supported young people to acquire vocational skills in Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana. The beneficiaries of these programmes have shown an improvement in their income.

The staggering ILO statistics presented above are further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the crisis, young people were three times as likely as adults (25 years and older) to be unemployed. Currently, more than 1 in 6 young people are out of work due to COVID-19.

In alignment with the current realities, Sahara Foundation has launched the Unusual Career Series which is an online webinar series that highlights how young people can take advantage of emerging “unusual” careers and vocations. After five episodes, hundreds of young people have been introduced to new skills that can unlock their aspirations and become sources of income.  The vocations that they are introduced to are those with minimal start-up requirements so that they can begin from their current position.

Sahara Foundation’s youth programmes are designed to equip young people with the skills they need to thrive in a fast-changing world thereby building their resilience.

Sahara Group is delighted to join the world in celebrating World Youth Skill Day.

 

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