In pursuance of the development of youths in the country, the Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, bottlers of Coca Cola soft drinks has unveiled plans to train 500,000 Nigeria youths by the year 2020 on a fresh programme Youth Empowered.
Designed for graduate and undergraduates within the age of 18-30 the management of NBC said the initiative is part of Coca-Cola Hellenic project designed to support young unemployed with skills, training, and employment and mentorship opportunities.
While unveiling the project in Lagos on thursday, the Managing Director, NBC, George Polymenakos, said that the launch of the youth empowerment programme will be hinged on three pillars, building life skills, business skills and long-lasting networks for transition to meaningful employment or to start a business.
“From this month 17 of October to the 17 of November will are targeting 10,000 youths. 1500 during a 3-day workshop in Lagos Port-Harcourt, and Kano states and reaching a further 8,500 via its digital hub providing online training, with plans to extend this program to other states in the country from 2018, ” he added
Polymenakos however explained that the programme is not replacing the already successful Youth Empowered for Success programme but a complement to cover wider spectrum of youths with the required skills needed to succeed in life and opportunity to intern in various organisations.
The Public Affairs and Communications Director NBC, Shade Morgan, in her remarks noted the unemployment rate in the country is a very big concern to the company and the company will work hard in preparing today’s youth for tomorrow opportunities.
In her words, “Statistics show that 64 per cent of the Nigerian population are 24 years and below (youths) and one out of this percentage is unemployed and this is unacceptable, NBC Youth Empowered is committed to empowering youths in communities, liberating their fortunes and supporting one of the government’s sustainability development goals; ‘eradicating extreme poverty and hunger’. The participating youths would have firsthand experience that would serve as a launch pad to start on the right foot, with guidance from professionals and experienced business mentors.
She explained that the entrepreneurial skills of the youths would be tapped through various measures embedded in the programme, “”Mentors will bring expertise and personal working experience in live workshop and e-learning”
The Founder of Rise Network, Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji one of the mentors on the programme while giving her speech challenged the youths to take their future seriously by investing in ventures that would advance the cause of their development and success in the workplace and life in general. She noted that the era of youth relying on government support to cater for their needs was no longer feasible in this age and time given the government attitude to solving unemployment.