King Charles initiates unemployment scheme in Nigeria

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In order to solve the serious global problem of youth unemployment, King Charles III of England founded The Prince’s Trust International, a non-profit organisation, which has its official debut in Nigeria.

High-profile officials, including Ben Llewellyn-Jones, the deputy British high commissioner to Nigeria, attended the unveiling, which took place at a reception in Lagos on Wednesday.

Llewellyn-Jones stated during the launch that the PTI’s entry into Nigeria would close the skills gap by enabling more young people to obtain high-quality training that would increase their employability.

He stated: “This is the launch of the Prince’s Trust International initiative in Nigeria to help train young people and get them ready for work to bridge the gap that we have with respect to youth unemployment and youth underemployment here in Nigeria.

“So, it is a really positive initiative. His Royal Highness is the President of the Prince’s Trust. The initiative is trying to reach more countries, Nigeria being the latest. The PTI is a charity. It is in line with the UK government’s ambition in Nigeria to help young people get jobs, get the proper training and the proper skills.

“It is about training. It depends on the kinds of roles young people want to take up. It is about providing them with modern workplace skills, modern workplace etiquette and the ways in which they can approach things, helping them with some of the softer skills and some of the harder skills as well.”

Will Straw, the Chief Executive Officer of Prince’s Trust International, said the project was supposed to start after King Charles visited Nigeria in 2018, but it was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He claims that during the past 18 months, the trust has been assisting young people in developing the skills necessary for the workforce.

Straw said, “Prince’s Trust is nearly half a century old. It was founded by King Charles when he was the Prince of Wales in the UK in 1976. It has grown to be the largest charity in the UK, supporting a million people. In 2015, the King founded Prince’s Trust International with a mission to work with local partners around the world to tackle the youth unemployment crisis.

“In 2018, he visited Nigeria, and as we heard this evening, he asked government officials, he asked business leaders whether his trust could support employment efforts here in Nigeria and in Ghana. The answer was yes. The expertise that we have could help with local efforts. So, we began with the support of our Africa advisory board, which includes great business figures in Nigeria like Atedo Peterside and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede to explore how we can set this programme up.”

Considering that 60% of Nigeria’s population is under 25, Arunma Oteh, a trustee for PTI and a former vice president of the World Bank, asserted that any investment in youth is worthwhile and sustainable for growth.

Oteh, who was once the Director-General of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission, expressed enthusiasm for the opportunities the plan has for young Nigerians, employers, and the nation as a whole.

She believes that young people in Nigeria are diligent, inventive, and resourceful.

The introduction of the PTI in Nigeria, she continued, will spur even greater development and progress in the nation.

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