About 50 young people have benefited from the Youth Employment Pathway Development Initiative (YEPDI) to embrace the new ‘gig economy.’
The new ‘gig economy’ has enormous potential in enabling youth in Africa to rise out of poverty and change their current circumstance.
YEPDI is an employability accelerator programme being implemented by Talents in Africa with support from KGL Foundation to address the growing menace of youth unemployment.
Mr Alfred Amekudzi, Internship Coordinator at Talents in Africa, said young people need the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the global ‘gig economy’, which presented a foretaste of the future of work.
Recent estimates suggest that 600 million jobs would have to be created over the next decade to meet youth employment needs.
Mr Amekudzi said, “Young people can be prepared for successful jobs in several sectors with the aid of this accelerator programme that focuses on teaching them a wide range of consulting skills and also about the gig economy and transferable skills.”
He said the term “gig economy” referred to a labour market where temporary or freelance work was more common than permanent employment.
Mr Amekudzi said as more people choose the flexibility and independence that gig labour offers, this sort of work had grown in popularity in recent years and holds the key to the future of work according to many in the development and employment sector.
He, however, said young people might not have the same resources or expertise as older employees, making it difficult for them to navigate the gig economy.
“YEPDI is seeking to bridge this gap by assisting young people seeking employment in the ‘gig economy’ through the provision of guidance and training required to thrive in this space,” he added.
Madam Priscilla Oppong Da-costa, an Administrator at KGL Foundation, urged beneficiaries to prioritize transferable skills as a main area of concentration.
These skills include abilities like collaboration, problem-solving, leadership, and communication that may be used in a range of careers and industries.
“Young people might be better prepared to adjust to additional responsibilities and problems as they occur by honing these skills,” she said.
Mr Joseph Zotoo, the project lead, said the programme had concentrated on teaching employability skills that were particular to the gig economy besides transferable skills.
These include learning how to efficiently manage one’s time and workload, embracing a growth mindset, knowing online productivity tools, branding, and marketing oneself, working productively online and bargaining rates and terms with clients, among other skills.
The initiative promises to be an avenue for youth who are trying to succeed in the fast-changing labour market to find their place.