According to the 2016 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report, the estimated population of youths aged between 15 and 35 years in Nigeria is estimated to be 69 million, while females are more than males in all age groups. The 2018 Report also revealed that 55.4% of Nigerian youths were unemployed or underemployed. Of this number, the female percentage is at 51.9% compared to their male counterpart with 48.1% being unemployed. Women have long been neglected as stakeholders in Nation building and economic empowerment especially in non-traditional roles.
To bridge the gap in the construction sector, which is the leading sector with the highest rate of employment where women are underrepresented, the GIZ-SKYE programme in partnership with the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) is focusing on skills development for female youth in Abuja in the construction sector. The skills training project is under the NCWD’s Female Economic Empowerment Training (FEET) programme. 100 beneficiaries are being trained in small and medium scale non-traditional household economic activities, while recognizing the importance of female involvement in community peacebuilding initiatives.
The training aims to empower female youth as skilled workers in the construction sector who will have a competitive edge over their male counterparts. The selected trainees were drawn from the list of previously trained female artisans within the last five years. This advanced training is in five trades; plumbing and piping, air conditioning and refrigerator repairs and fixing, masonry and tiling, plaster of Paris and generating set repairs. The three months project will strengthen the beneficiaries’ capacity to be self-reliant, empowered and contribute to national development.
After the training, they will be awarded trade test 2 and 1 certification (NVQF 2 and 3) in plumbing and piping, masonry and tiling, repairs of generating sets, repairs and fixing of air-conditioning, and plaster of Paris (POP) in the construction industry.
Breaking the cycle of the stereotype around women and young girls’ ability to work in non-traditional trades is a continuous task SKYE is working on, this intervention provides the driving force to help beneficiaries start small or medium scale enterprises that are effective in absorbing another female workforce in their communities. The training also equips and support these young women with the knowledge and skills they need to be peace change agents in their communities.