United Nations

Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Youth Envoy, has said that to accommodate unemployed youths all over the world, 600 million new jobs are needed to meet the target 2030.

Wickramanayake disclosed this over the weekend at a special press conference on the opportunities and challenges facing young people in Nigeria in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She said that a review of the education curriculum to ensure that youths are taught with proper skills that will match the prevailing needs in the labour market was essential.

She however, urged policymakers in Nigeria to review the curriculum and also scale-up investment in education not just in quantity but also in quality as a means to tackle unemployment.

She said that there was a mismatch between the skills most students come out with when they leave school and the demands in the labour market.

The envoy opined that it was not just enough for governments to invest in education and health but to also make deliberate efforts to eradicate poverty and hardships which force youths to seek greener pastures abroad.

Ms. Wickramanayake urged Nigerian government to make room for greater inclusion of youths in governance in order for the country to benefit fully from the dividends of the youth demography.

She stressed that youth participation in policy making and implementation process are still bedeviled with structural and legal challenges.

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