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Redesigning The Apprenticeship System To Meet The Challenge of Skill Dearth Among Youth

There is no argument that skill dearth among youths is a major cause of unemployment among this demography. Our present institution of learning has become so organized, academic and pedantic that it has lost its paramount aim of establishment. However, before the advent of organized schools, before the aggregation of knowledge in the Universities, there was the apprenticeship system that provided focused skills for students. In this information age, we can redesign this system to help solve the major problem of skill gaps among youths to boost their "employability"

Photo of Job Oyebisi
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Why has unemployment risen to a record high in the 21st millenium? What can the records in the 17th and 18th century teach us and what are the models of learning and work in those centuries that can be beneficial to us in solving our challenges? United Nations research on Africa, a continent whose statistics contribute majorly to the volume of unemployed youths in the world, tells us that two of the principal reasons for Africa's high unemployment rates are: a mismatch between educational systems and the skills needed in the labour market and saturated public services and small private sector bases that are unable to employ large numbers of people. So how do we bridge the skill gap and increase the private sector base? An introduction of the apprenticeship system designed by Employers and monitored by the government can help a lot in the bridging of the skill gap. In pre-modern europe, according to Patrick Wallis of the Department of Economic History of the London School of Economics, Apprenticeship was one of the most important means by which occupational training was supplied in pre-modern Europe. In England, non-agricultural apprentices made up between 7.5 and 10 percent of the labour force even in the eighteenth century. In Nigeria, the Ibos have successfully engaged the informal apprenticeship system to create the highest artisan and business ownership rates. Redesigning this system into our modern educational system will equip our youths with up-to-date skills relevant for the industry and thereby bridge the solve the perennial problem of lacuna between academics and industry. It will also help make our youths potential job creators and not seekers alone. To make this system work, we will need to involve policy makers in governments and the public and private industries. Already countries like the America and Europe have such systems in place but there is call for a redesign of it especially by industries because they are the ones actively engaged with the apprentice. Sadly, Africa and Asia who have the highest combined unemployment rates in the world are yet to integrate this system to combat skill dearth.


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Photo of Job Oyebisi

You are very correct Mr Abiola. Developing nations like Nigeria needs a system that will provide a large base of skillful hands to meet industry demand if they must grow. The Europeans and Americans had this to meet the challenges of the industrial revolution. I appreciate your comments and its insightfulness. Thanks

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