I saw this report in the BBC about a world skills championships currently holding in Sao Paolo Brazil which intrigued me.( World skills championships!!!?)
     This is a Olympic like competition where skilled workers under 25 years of age from around the world compete against each other for medals in various skills endeavors like plumbing, floral arrangement, carpentry, graphic designs, bakery, robotics and the likes. Its held every two years and has the feel of the sports olympics with opening and closing ceremonies, supporters clubs and medal presentations.
     Many countries take this competition serious as an avenue to groom young people for the skilled labour sector in their countries. Many of the medalists get cash and recognition in their home countries and best of all multinational companies turn up to see who they can recruit.
    In some countries this competition is a big deal. In Korea winners get cash and houses while the Brazilians enjoy university scholarships. The Americans get to visit the white house and dine with the president same as the French medalists who get to visit the president at the elysee palace.

    Many people at the event including the head honchos of multinational companies like Samsung opine that this olympics is much more important than the sports Olympics as the skills set displayed will have an effect on the economy of the participating nations. The multiplier effects of these skilled workers cannot be quantified.

   In a country like Nigeria where basic technical skills are disappearing I believe this is a good chance to get young people interested in skills sets like plumbing, carpentry etc. Organising such competitions here will ginger with good rewards (Like the 10 million naira you win on who wants to be a millionaire) will ginger people to go into these vocations. Combine teaching young people these skills sets with business management and organizational skills and this will provide a boost for the economy.
     Its too bad that all people think of here is chasing a white collar job. I remember my dad always telling me when I was young to find something to do with my hands in addition to education.
     Check out the article here


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