The Africa Internship Academy (AIA), a youth employment accelerator based in Ghana, is making moves to address the continent’s growing unemployment crisis.
The group, which provides work readiness and entrepreneurship programs for secondary and higher education students, had its Work Integrated Learning Program (WILP) recently recognized as a Good Practice tool to enhance youth development and empowerment across the African continent.
The acknowledgement was made by the Africa Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) – an economic development program of the African Union (AU) – under the African Skills Portal for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship (ASPYEE).
AIA’s model which is a Work Integrated Learning Program has proven to be a good approach as it gives interns unique opportunities to learn from our experienced faculty while they gain hands-on experience in a diversity of fields and in addition acquire soft skills that groom them to be change agents.
These developments come at a time when about 10 million students who graduate from the 668 universities in Africa each year do not get jobs.
“We, as a Pan-African Social enterprise have made it our prerogative to accelerate the level of, especially youth employment across Africa by filling in the skills gap,” said AIA.
“Having worked extensively with youths in Africa over the years, we have discovered that the general transition from school-to-work is very weak,” the organisation added in a statement issued this week.
“The educational institutions and the working bodies are both to blame for the lame nature of the transition. Many employers lament about the poor skills of entry level talents; they take in young people and get frustrated in the short run due to lack or inadequate skills on the part of the personnel. In respect to helping solve this indispensable situation, we have been working tirelessly, not only to patch the hole but also build young generational change pioneers, especially in business, creativity and innovation through well thought-out avenues,” AIA continued.
These avenues include innovative training programs that would give these youth the opportunity to acquire soft skills, seeing that these are highly valued by employers and have been shown to be correlated with improved outcomes in school, life and work.
AIA’s vision is to reduce the rate of youth unemployment on the continent by grooming young talents as change agents through our work readiness and entrepreneurship programs.
“At Africa Internship Academy, we inspire Africa’s youth to start their own businesses, and give them the skills to succeed in the global job market,” the organisation concluded.