On Saturday 15 July, DFID funded International Citizen Service (ICS) and UK-based NGO Challenges Worldwide will be holding a presentation at the Kumasi Academy in celebration of World Youth Skills Day. The event is a three-hour showcase in a variety of skill sets. Almost 100 students aged 15 to 17 years will be learning and participating in workshops from a wide range including first aid, public speaking, presenting and robotics.

The event brings together ICS volunteers from both Ghana and the UK to aid students in developing key skills which are desirable to employers. As part of Challenges Worldwide’s work, we aim to deliver a lasting impact on the local community in which we operate. By passing on skills gained from a variety of different lifestyles, what we wish to achieve is giving the local youth the opportunity to use this knowledge to improve their future employability.

The role of skill-based occupation is increasingly becoming more fundamental in modern society as entrepreneurship and innovation have become the language of our century. In the USA, there were 10 times more computing jobs than computer science graduates in 2015, and the number of IT jobs is expected to grow 22% through 2020. This is just an example of how learning a skill like computing can increase your employability significantly.

A study conducted in 2012 by CSAE (Centre for the Study of African Economies) investigated the relationship between skills and job characteristics using a panel from urban Ghana. It showed a positive link between women with higher mathematics skills and the likelihood of them gaining a job in the financial sector.

You only need to see the incredible example set by Kofi Annan to recognize what an impact someone can achieve through knowledge and experience. Born in Kumasi, he learned skills such as economics, management, and international relations before mastering these in the USA. He served as Secretary-General of the UN for nine years in addition to winning a Nobel Peace Prize.

World Youth Skills Day serves the purpose of giving young people access to skills they may not have had the chance to learn before. It is about opportunity, development, and youth. The event being held this Saturday celebrates these ideals and hopes to encourage the generation of tomorrow to learn and master new skills, which not only provides more opportunities to the individuals but to Ghana and the planet as a whole.

Note: Challenges Worldwide is an international development charity aimed at growing small and medium businesses in developing economies. We run a business support programme which aims to build the capacity of enterprises while training young people as consultants. Challenges Worldwide deliver this programme in Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, and Zambia. The programme brings together young people
from the UK and each of those countries to volunteer and support local businesses to grow.

By: Josh Addis, Challenges Worldwide – Cycle 11.