The federal government has unveiled intentions to implement an internship program within the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), aiming to augment practical skills, bolster youth employability, and narrow the divide between academic learning and practical work experience.

Minister of State for Youth Development, Ayodele Olawande, revealed this initiative during the inauguration of a $50 billion fundraising program for the construction of a World Youth Peace Centre orchestrated by the West African Youth Peace Mission (WAYPEM) in Abuja.

The internship program will be seamlessly incorporated into the current NYSC framework, offering corps members practical exposure across diverse industries and equipping them with essential skills for today’s professional landscape.

The minister, represented by his Chief of Staff, Mohammed Abdullahi, elucidated that the underlying concept is to strategically deploy graduates of professional courses to environments where their specific skills can be advanced and refined throughout their service year.

Olawande said this would give them an edge in the labour market after their service year. 

The Minister also announced that in the next couple of weeks, the ministry would be inaugurating the technical committee on youth development which would focus on skills development for Nigerian youths. 

Olawande added that one of the initiatives they would be working on was “One Youth, Two Skills”, which would be delivered in the first quarter of next year. 

The Minister also stated that the NYSC scheme would be redesigned by the second quarter of next year to focus on delivering skills as well.

According to the minister, the current Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme (SAED) in the NYSC was not delivering the desired results, as not everybody was cut out to be an entrepreneur.

 WAYPEM president, Dr Godswill Richman said the building of the peace centre in Abuja would create over 40,000 local jobs for the youth as part of the mission move to address the “Japa Syndrome”.

According to Richman, the commercial complex of the centre will house modern specialist university, banking hall, an event center, multi-purpose training facilities for youths and women, administrative offices, and staff quarters. 

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