The Ondo state government has reemphasized its commitment to developing the skills and expertise of its youth population to make them competitive for emerging jobs in the 21st century.

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu reiterated this in Akure, at an event organized in commemoration of the 2019 United Nations International Youth Day, organised by the Nigerian Youth SDG Network with the theme “Amplifying Youths Voices for the SDGs”.

Akeredolu who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Innovation and Partnerships, Joel Ogunsola said he is conscious of what he called a “looming crises” and working daily with young people to solve this problem ahead in a sustainable way. 

He said, “By 2050, one in every five young persons across the world will be an African, and one in every two of those young people will be a Nigerian.

“Also from the records of the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate keeps increasing, and more numbers are joining the figures. 

“Youths rush to the university to get  degrees which don’t determine employability anymore, so the government kept thinking on what to do. The ultimate approach to getting a job is for the applicant to find out what exactly he or she could do.”

He said the Ondo State Office of Innovation and Partnerships was set up to create innovative solutions to these problems. 

“We work on increasing opportunities for our young people, and regardless of their academic qualifications, and associations, we need to be able to increase personal productivity outcomes for them.

“We have focused on MSME development, and human capital development, where we espouse technical and vocational education, digital technology as well as creative skills. 

“To increase opportunities for young people in Ondo State, what we do is to actively engage employers, make them advise us on skillset they are looking for in the workplace, and with that, we start to train our people on those skillset. 

“The target is to make employers, not only in Nigeria, but across Africa see us in Ondo State as a talent pool of reliable skills.“ The Governor assured.

The Ondo state Coordinator for Nigeria Youth SDG Network, Idris Bashiru told the gathering, the need for youths to amplify their voices for the SDGs and  take responsibilities to transform  perspective to education for desired functionality.