“Education is the great equalizer” is a famous refrain reminding us all of the virtue in seeking an education – a gateway to improved life circumstances.
Unemployed graduates around the world face incredible challenges making it in an unstable job market, unable to absorb their labour. Having put much effort in their tertiary education, many such graduates are hit with the cold reality that the hardest part is not getting the degree or certificate but finding the increasingly elusive job opportunity.
How are young people supposed to navigate such difficult waters? For thirty (30) Namibian youth, carefully selected from hundreds of applicants, a helping hand came in the form of the ShapesSkills Cohort III Training Project that took place from 8 October – 5 November 2022.
“We were initially inspired to establish the ShapeSkills Training Project as a platform for young professionals to share their knowledge and help upskill unemployed graduates starting their journey in the job market”, said current Global Shapers Windhoek Hub curator Julia Nampweya
Co-hosted by the United Nations Namibia and the Global Shapers Windhoek Hub since its inception in 2020, ShapeSkills has empowered more than 150 youth unemployed youth reach their full potential through five weekly intensive trainings spanning the areas of marketing, diplomacy, entrepreneurship, project management, IT and Web Design.
“Our steadfast support of ShapeSkills embodies the principles of the United Nations Youth Strategy that calls for the UN to scale up global, regional and national action to meet the needs of young people, realize their rights and seize their opportunities as agents of change”, said United Nations Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Mr. Sen Pang.
Efraim Shaanika, one of the ShapeSkills participants, explained that the main reasons he applied for ShapeSkills was to attain and accumulate all the skills that were on offer.
“I wanted to grab an opportunity to grow myself which will also help grow other people too since I am a youth group leader. I have a life purpose of making a significant impact on lives of people. The skills I have learned will be one of my pillars to rollout to the community”, said Efraim.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current global crises, employment already reached staggering levels with 46% of youth unemployed in 2018. Whilst not directly creating jobs, ShapeSkills provides youth with the tools to either help them establish their own businesses or equip them with information to increase their value to prospective employers in the current job market.
“After ShapeSkills, I realized I’ve been job hunting wrong and sending out the same CV for almost every job posting, I had no idea I had to tailor it for each job”, said Priscilla Timoteus, a ShapeSkills participant.”
Fellow participant, Jakob Johannes further elaborated on Priscilla’s reflections on this knowledge gap, adding that “our community, they need this information which is rare for them to have. Especially on how to make their CV and how to market themselves in the industry”.
The inclusion of youth in resolving developmental issues as well as contribute to the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals is fundamental in making those solutions a long-term reality.
“We are always looking at sustainable ways to leave a positive impact on our fellow Namibians. In helping, this group of youth we provide them with the skills to uplift their communities. It creates a domino effect”, said current Global Shapers Windhoek Hub curator Julia Nampweya
About the Global Shapers Windhoek Hub
Affiliated with the World Economic Forum, the Hub is filled with young, dynamic individuals who are making an impact in their surrounding society. The Hub brings together young people who are willing to share their time and efforts in social projects to enhance and brighten the lives of the communities in and around Windhoek. For more information email: email@example.com