Amid ongoing developments within the Nigerian economy, employment rates have dropped, and the job market is undergoing rapid changes. In a country when who you know is the norm in getting employed, skills acquisition is fast gaining ground. Its either you have the skills to make a living or you do not. There is no way to rigmarole.
As a result, this has become appealing with issues of fuel subsidy removal and increasing costs of living, Nigerians have become resourceful. People from diverse backgrounds and age groups are recognising the value of acquiring new skills to secure employment, enhance career prospects, and contribute to economic growth.
Many Nigerian youths have increasingly embraced skills acquisition as a means to enhance their self-sufficiency and to stay competitive in the ever-evolving job market. This has led to a surge in enrollment at vocational schools, online courses, and workshops that offer a wide range of skills, from carpentry to plumbing and fashion design. This has helped reduce dependence on ‘white collar’ jobs and government support.
A fashion designer whom I spoke to, Omotolani Okuade, shared how her skills helped her during her university days. “Learning fashion designing was one of the best decisions I’ve made in life. I remember making a lot of money just from adjusting and sewing clothes for my colleagues in school,” she enthused.
“Sometimes I didn’t have to ask my parents for allowances while I was in school, because I had enough money due to my skills. Now that I’m a graduate, I don’t have to worry about hunting for a job, I know for sure that my skill will come through for me as always,” Okuade said.
In today’s world, the significance of skills acquisition as shown that it surpasses personal benefits, its also stands as a driving force for societal progress.
Speaking of societal progress, a professional makeup artist, Mrs Oyeladun Oladapo, whose business has also taken her beyond Nigeria borders, discussed how her skills have not only been a source of income for her but has also benefited her society. She said, “My skill has not only earned me money but has also contributed to the advancement of my community. I have empowered numerous students who have not only become self-sufficient but are also passing on the knowledge I imparted to them and, in the process, contributing to their own financial well-being and the growth of our society.
“Skilled individuals tend to play a more active role in advancing the society compared to the unskilled ones. Economically, skilled individuals stimulate industries and drive innovation, fostering a more robust and prosperous society” She further explained.