According to the United Nations, Nigeria will have 400 million people by 2050, making it the third most populous country in the world. Nearly 244 million people would be working-age citizens in Nigeria by that time (from nearly 61 million today). 78 million of these labourers will be under the age of 24 by 2050, making up roughly 20% of Africa’s youth population between the ages of 15 and 24. Nigeria’s greatest resource may thus be its young people.

But today’s youth unemployment rate is over 40%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Over 25 million young Nigerians, or more than 60% of the youth population, are either unemployed or have part-time jobs that don’t amount to 20 hours per week. By 2050, that population could reach 43 million. Because there are so many young people, we might also be igniting our biggest time bomb. To prevent catastrophe, we must discover strategies to boost young people’s labour involvement.

The Skill Gap

The talents that make job seekers employable and able to significantly contribute to the market and economy can be narrowed down in today’s global labour market to certain 21st century skills that form the basis of a person’s ability to learn new and emerging skills. These skills include adaptability, creativity, and the capacity to solve problems critically. 

The skill gap is extremely real for both companies, who are finding it more and more difficult to fill open positions with competent candidates, and young people, who simply lack the skills that available occupations require. However, educational institutions keep putting unskilled graduates into the workforce, making it difficult for these young people to find fulfilling jobs.

What then must young people do for themselves to close this skill gap?

Closing The Skills Gap – Reskilling and Upskilling

Upskilling refers to the process of learning new skills or expanding upon existing skills in order to advance in one’s current job or pursue new career opportunities. Reskilling, on the other hand, is the process of learning entirely new skills in order to transition into a new field or industry. 

Both upskilling and reskilling are crucial for young people looking to enter or re-enter the workforce, as they can provide the necessary skills and knowledge needed for in-demand jobs.

One of the key benefits of upskilling and reskilling is that it can help bridge the skills gap that often exists between the skills that young people have and the skills that employers are looking for. This is especially important in today’s rapidly changing job market, where new technologies and automation are transforming many industries.

By providing young people with the necessary skills to succeed in these industries, upskilling and reskilling programs, like what Terra Academy For The Arts (TAFTA) offers, can help reduce youth unemployment and increase economic growth.

In addition to technical skills such as computer programming and engineering, upskilling and reskilling programs can also focus on developing soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. 

These skills are highly valued by employers and can be transferable across different industries, making them especially useful for young people looking to transition into new fields.

Another benefit of upskilling and reskilling is that it can help young people gain a sense of purpose and direction in their careers. By learning new skills and pursuing new opportunities, young people can feel more confident and motivated in their job search, which can in turn increase their chances of finding employment.


In conclusion, youth unemployment is a pressing issue that affects not only young people themselves, but also their families and communities, as well as the overall economy. However, upskilling and reskilling can help address this issue by equipping young people with the skills and knowledge needed for in-demand jobs, bridge the skills gap, and provide them with a sense of purpose and direction in their careers. It is important for organisations, government and individuals to invest in upskilling and reskilling programs as it is an effective solution to address youth unemployment.


You can learn more about what TAFTA is doing to tackle the rising unemployment rate, visit