As the youth population in Nigeria and Africa at large balloons uncontrollably, it’s not just the figures that pose a concern, but the facts behind the figures. The world of work is changing, and many youths are ill-prepared for it with little or no skills. Worse still, efforts to rewrite the narrative are few and far between leaving us with a ticking time bomb. Indeed, it’s no longer news that Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children in the world, what is news, however, is little is being done to stem the ugly tide.

All these and many more urged the United Nations to pay more than a passing attention by addressing this problem with the World Youth Skills Day marked annually on July the 15th to raise awareness on the importance of equipping youths with the skills they need to face the future. It is true that a SKILL is the ability to optimise actions with determined results within a given amount of time, and energy, or both.  We will only be good as the skills we possess in the future of work to stay plugged in the arena of decent and legitimate work. Which skills are these and how do we keep pace?

Skills can be divided into Domain-General and Domain-specific skills. In the Domain of work, some general skills would include: Time Management, teamwork, leadership, self-motivation and others, whereas Domain-specific skills would be used only for a certain job. Youths need a broad range of skills to better their lot, forge a better future and contribute meaningfully to the Nation.    The more the skills lean towards technology, the better; the world has become a global village with even greater competition and efficiency thanks to technology.

Employers of labour look out for technical skills at the very least, nonetheless, basic skills youths should look to acquire are HARD and SOFT SKILLS.

HARD SKILLS are also known as technical skills. They are specialized skills gained through formal Education, training programs, and on-the-job trainings. They are skills relating to a specific task or situation. It involves both understanding and proficiency in such specific activity that involves methods, processes, procedures or techniques. These skills are easily quantifiable unlike soft skills which are intangible and related to one’s personality.

SOFT SKILLS are personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues and communication abilities e.g. leadership skills, teamwork, work ethics, problem solving skills, emotional intelligence amongst many others.

A youth’s success rate in their chosen career path depends on the combination of their Hard and Soft skills. A marriage of a high Intelligent Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (IQ) have been identified as key to birthing great success in leadership irrespective of discipline, industry or sector.

As the world navigates the new normal where the online space has become our new natural habitat conscripting us as digital natives and affording us new competencies with lesser time, energy and cost, it’s important we arm ourselves with the know-hows and know-what’s.

Here’s how.


  • Read and watch online tutorials.
  • Practice what you learn.
  • Take online classes.
  • Hang out with smart people.
  • Embrace a variety of software.
  • Learn to Program a computer because it makes you think.


  • Develop a learning mindset.
  • Read books
  • Practice inner self reflection.
  • Leverage powerful learning management software for soft skill training courses.
  • Seize every opportunity to practice be itself control, or public speaking etc.
  • Receive and offer feedback often.
  • Aim to be understood. Communicate clearly.
  • Be a kind person, be loving and honest.

Other skills including life skills, labour skills, social skills and people skills are also paramount

All of the above help to prepare and position the youths to skill up, stay ready, see and seize golden opportunities by marshalling and optimizing resources at their disposal. In summary, your preferred future is just a skill set away, stay ready by getting a skill today. It’s never too late to start preparing for tomorrow today. These skills will not only give meal tickets but possibly with much diligence even fame and fortune. Think the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the many global tech kids of this era. This is why it matters much, and the effects will be felt all over our county and our continent.


 By  Nkemka Nwobu


Categories: Uncategorized


Chinonso · July 16, 2020 at 9:13 am

This is very insightful. Thank you for the information.

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