Stakeholders advocate talent hubs for youth job creation


Stakeholders in the creative sector urge setting up talent hubs nationwide in Nigeria to nurture and create jobs for young people.

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They issued the request during a panel discussion at a stakeholder workshop held by MSwitch Creative Academy on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Attendees comprise media entrepreneurs, ICT specialists, academia members, artists, and other stakeholders in the creative field.

According to the panelists, Nigeria is filled with budding talents without adequate creative hubs to showcase and develop their talents for economic benefits.

The panelist, who explored the topics “Sustainable Pathway to Job Creation” and “Positioning Nigerian Creatives for a Global Postproduction Demand”, said establishing adequate creative hubs was the antidote to the problem of youth unemployment.

Mr. Opeoluwa Adepoju-Mcplenty, Head of Production at Mswitch Media, the Abuja-based talent development hub, said, “We don’t have a shortage of talents in Nigeria, we only need platforms for youths to showcase their creativity.”

“Creatives need platforms, like a community where they can share ideas, learn and talk about common issues facing the industry and how they can solve them together, and that is what MSwitch offers.”

Gabe Converse, Creative Director, The Refinery, a US-based organisation, stated that ,“Nigeria has very unique stories and there is a need to support Nigerian creatives to work on Nigerian stories and projects.”

Mr Ayo Adeagbo, Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu on Arts ,Culture and Creative Economy said : “Creative hubs should be established in our campuses to prepare students for employment.”

“If we focus on talent discovery and development, the percentage of unemployed youths will reduce.”

“The President Bola Tinubu administration has demonstrated its commitment to developing the creative sector by creating the ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy.”

“I can tell you that we are willing to partner with creative hubs across Nigeria.”

Also, Mr Salami Kadir, co-founder of MSwiTch Media, said the hub was providing youths with necessary skills in film audio and music production industry.

He said the initiative was to complement government’s efforts in making young and passionate people self-reliant.

“We are set to graduate students from our master class and participants would be supported with platforms and opportunities to excel in the movie industry as professionals.”

Dr Femi Adeluyi, National Coordinator,National Talent Export Programme (NATEP) of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment said: “We are working towards ensuring that talented Nigerian youths get exposed and marketed to the world.”

“So we are available to collaborate with individual talents, as well as creative hubs for our talents to translate into economic benefits”

Earlier in her welcome address, Zainab Salami, Executive Director and Co-founder of Mswitch, said skills gap was one reason for rising unemployment in Nigeria.

She said the hub was committed to nurturing creative talents and ideas and empowering them with relevant skills and knowledge.

“I have witnessed firsthand, the hard-work and dedication of our graduates in executing their projects, and their perseverance reminded me of the immense potential that lies within our creative community,” she said.






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