By Agbaje Ayomide
There is an increasingly widening skills gap for the young people in Africa, especially writing, being one of the high-income, in-demand, and most sought-after skills in the workplace, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
In the emerging digital and knowledge-driven economy, there is a massive shortage of young people skilled in writing, as many of them still struggle to acquire the skill due to limited access to training opportunities.
However, Upskill Writing, a budding social enterprise, is set to change the narrative, bridge this gap and nurture a large pool of writing talents through a holistic approach and providing digital solutions to size up the problem.
Upskill Writing’s founder and director, Agbaje Ayomide, a 20-year-old Nigerian and a young, award-winning writer, told The Journalist Today (TJT) that the initiative is a one-stop platform where young people can gain writing skills for professional development, employability and effective communication in adequate preparation for the future of work.
“Over the years, I have observed that not everyone has access to platforms and opportunities for development, despite being talented and brimming with potential. Thus, this enterprise will connect the dots by offering intensive training and mentorship programs as a service,” he said.
Agbaje, who is laden with a half-decade of experience in writing and the pioneer Chief Editor and current Head of Communications at Pison Books, a literary and publishing firm, stated that the initiative is also an important way for him to pay it forward, the main inspiration behind the project, having witnessed a meteoric rise in his professional journey as a writer himself.
The new social outfit officially launched on April 8, 2020, with an announcement by its founder, Mr. Agbaje Ayomide, on Twitter. And according to the statement, it will soon begin operations with its flagship training program tagged, “Upskilling in Writing 1.0.” This program is a week-long masterclass designed to equip aspiring writers and young professionals with writing skills to boost their employability, sharpen their creative acumen in writing and learn from experts.
“Our proceeds from this masterclass will be donated to the charity and youth development organizations we have partnered with,” he said to our correspondent, offering information about the start-up’s social return on investment through the program. “This is our way of maximizing our social impact on other areas of development while sustaining our business model, and most importantly, our core impact mission of nurturing a new generation of young professionals well-equipped with proficient writing skills.”
When asked about the future plans of the new initiative, the young writer and social entrepreneur stated that it seeks to expand its operations to other African countries in a bid to serve a Pan-African audience and market.
He also stated that innovation will be at the core of the continued existence and successful running of the social enterprise.
“Our team plans to create a digital and AI-powered platform that will remotely recruit a large pool of young talents, writers and professionals and connect them to best-fit companies and organizations, that we have secured partnerships with, for hire, after we must have upskilled them. This is to contribute to the attainment of the SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth while achieving one of the set objectives of the SDG 4, Quality Education,” he disclosed in the exclusive interview.
“We are confident the emergence of Upskill Writing will kick-start a novel way for how young people gain writing skills in Africa. And we are fully geared up to take on to this exciting and challenging journey ahead, as we reshape the narratives of African young people.”