PIND 2014 Youth Link Forum: Linking Youth to Employability Skills and Entrepreneurship Development Opportunities in the Niger Delta

PIND

The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) is hosting its first Youth Link Forum with the theme “Linking Youth to Employability skills and Entrepreneurship Development Opportunities in the Niger Delta” on 14-15 October, 2014, at the Aldgate Congress Hotel, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to discuss and contribute to resolving the most pressing economic and social problems that limit youth potential.

Promotion of entrepreneurship development and overall self-employment are increasingly considered as viable options by state governments in Nigeria, and nowhere is this truer than in the Niger Delta. A 2013 UNIDO report on youth employment estimates that Nigeria produces about 4 million university graduates annually, of which only about less than half a million can find gainful employment within the first six months of graduating from school. Majority of these new entrants into the labor market have no or limited skills in relation to current and future employment needs of the economy.

Findings from PIND’s own Niger Delta Youth Assessment conducted in Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Abia and Edo states amongst young people between the ages of 15-35 reveal the extent of the youth challenge. Of the youth surveyed, only over a quarter of youth respondents (27%) reported being employed, with a further 11% refusing to specify. Surveys also showed the perception of Niger Delta youth as poorly educated, lacking job skills, and prone to militancy or violence and have an “entitlement mentality”. However, youth interviewed saw themselves as highly motivated and having great potential to improve their circumstances. These youth, however, opined that lack of access to skills or resources that could assist them in succeeding as a major obstacle to their development.

In consideration of these findings, PIND in collaboration with her development partners is hosting Youth Link Forum to help promote a platform for youth in the Niger Delta and beyond to help reposition them for entrepreneurship and employment opportunities, while contributing to a better understanding of the socio-economic development issues facing youth. This Forum will also provide an avenue for youth across the Niger Delta to network; provide information and guidance to improve their employability and entrepreneurial development opportunities; influence policy makers and youth-serving organizations to support interventions addressing youth concerns through research evidence and practical experiences that will be shared; and contribute to peace building through socioeconomic engagement of Niger Delta youth.

Please register for the Youth Link Forum by filling this form (pdf), and emailing it to Micah Mendie,[email protected] Analysis and Advocacy Program Officer, and Saratu Abiola, [email protected]  Communications Officer.