Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nokia hires 10 LEAP graduates

The management of Nokia Nigeria has hired 10 graduates of LEAP Africa among the 350 beneficiaries currently trained on critical leadership skills.

Head, Corporate Social Investments at Nokia, Middle East and Africa (MEA), Ms Micheline Ntiru made this disclosure at the LEAP African Nigerian Youth leadership awards held recently.

In address to the occasion, she acknowledged the efforts of LEAP team in the past four years, especially in grooming future leaders and for sustaining the vision of this noble initiative that strives for youth leadership and empowerment.

She explained that those hired included field force, which illustrates the commitment of both enhancing skills and providing employment.

In addition, 250 have designed change projects in their communities, preventing crime, providing skills to youth and promoting HIV and AIDS awareness.

“LEAP is changing the lives and future of many in Nigeria as each participant has a good foundation that can be built on as they embark on their journey of success,” she pointed out.

Describing the teenage era as a very fragile time, Ntiru stressed that it a period when decisions about developing skills, starting families, embarking on financial independence and being a part of the civic community commence, and these decisions will have long-lasting impacts that endure beyond them, into the next generation.

“These decisions form the basis of human capital to be productive workers, heads of families, citizens and community leaders,” she said, adding that there is need to develop the capabilities of young people and empower them to make judicious, well-informed decisions.

“As the capacity to learn is greater for young than it is for older people, we need not miss this opportunity,” she advised.

Nigeria, as the most populous nation in Africa, she pointed out have youth constituting a majority of the population and Nokia recognises this fact, that youth have an enormous difficult time getting into the job market, or moving up the ladder.

“It is a tough economy and in order to survive, we know that young people need to be fully armed with a myriad skill set, if they are to be part of the increasingly competitive workforce. We do not just literacy skills, but an extra load of life and leadership skills, including decision-making, negotiations, communications, problem solving among other skills,” she noted.

According to her, a further challenge remains in the rapid advances in information and technology, which demands more from workers than basic skills.

Young people, therefore, need to participate in civic life if they are really to have a positive impact on their communities, hence Nokia believes in this philosophy strongly.

“This is because the opportunities to be heard as citizens and to participate in community activities will no doubt impact upon the quality of the delivery services that will affect young people directly,” Ntiru asserted.

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