Short-Term Vocation Skill Training for Young People in Zawan Community, Plateau State

Vocational skills hold significant economic importance for young people and society as a whole. These skills provide individuals with practical knowledge and expertise in specific trades or industries, enabling them to enter the workforce with valuable skills and contribute to economic growth in several ways including; higher earning potential, increased employability, and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Recent reports by the National Bureau of Statistics state that more than 80 million Nigerians are living on less than a dollar per day, this can be linked largely to the high unemployment rate in the country. As a result of the high unemployment rate, job opportunities are usually very limited, leaving many exceptionally qualified young people with an inability to secure decent jobs, and as a result, financially dependent on their parents and even the government. This problem of unemployment can be largely reduced through the adoption of vocational skills training in our communities, employability, and entrepreneurship skills training, with access to startup grants and linkages to job internships & employment opportunities.

Consequently, SOS Children Villages in Nigeria, with funding from Grieg Foundation, organized a short-term vocational training on bag making for young people in Zawan Community, Jos South, Plateau State.  This is to ensure young people in this community are self-reliant and in turn, have a better livelihood while reducing poverty and unemployment amongst young people in Nigeria.

Trainees learning how to paddle a sewing machine

The bag-making vocational training at Zawan Community was targeted at 50 participants; however, due to the high interest exhibited by the community members towards acquiring vocational skills, a total of 60 participants were trained. Trainees acquired knowledge in the following areas;

  • Introduction to bag-making
  • Types of bags and their uses
  • Materials and tools needed for bag-making
  • Basic techniques of measuring, cutting, and sewing
  • Making different types of bags such as purses, souvenirs, and travel bags
  • Creative designing and customizing of bags
  • Finishing techniques

 

Trainees showcasing their handwork

At the end of the training, one of the trainees, Ezra, while expressing gratitude to SOS Children Villages in Nigeria for the opportunity to acquire skills said, “The purse and handbag market has proven to be profitable, and I wish to continue my career skill in producing bags for souvenirs”. Similarly, another trainee, Christabel said that she will not joke about making use of this skill acquired to improve her life as she understands that finding a white-collar job is not so easy in present-day Nigeria. Therefore, she will use this skill wisely to keep herself employed after school and equally become an employer of labour.

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