Opinion

Skill acquisition and its technicalities

Skill acquisition has overtime been d i s c u s s e d in various fora by various entities and schools of thought, yet till date, its prime essence hasn’t been fully absorbed by the Nigerian society.

 

Time has really come for its technicalities to be embraced by anybody who understands the true impact of self-reliance on the society.

 

A skill can simply be defined as the ability to do something well. It can also be referred to as the ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort in order to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities or job functions involving ideas, things, and/or people.

 

Similarly, skill acquisition is the process of acquiring a certain skill by an individual through a thorough intensive training over a given period of time. Skill acquisition involves both theoretical and practical training regardless of its duration.

 

Skill can be classified into three major parts including cognitive, technical and interpersonal skills. A cognitive skill deals with ideas; technical skill is the ability to handle things or a certain human endeavour effectively and efficiency; whilst interpersonal skill is the ability to relate with people around you usually in business or work places. It’s noteworthy that there are hundreds of thousands of skills in existence such as sporting skill, cultural skill, installation skill, maintenance skill, manufacturing skill, management skill and what have you. Skill is required in every area of human endeavour and it enables the entrepreneurship drive of any nation to be actualized. The most important aspect of skill acquisition is that it benefits all classes in any society involved especially the masses. A small or medium scale entrepreneur is expected to hire many skilled people to take on tasks that are outside their skill set. However, every individual either a prospective leader or business personnel, must relentlessly strive to acquire the skills that will make them a great leader or a successful businessperson, as the case may be. Someone who has commenced a business or trade venture owing to his specialized skills and knowledge related to a particular service or product is    required to expand his skills to be a successful entrepreneur.

 

Such measure is referred to as ‘skill enhancement’. No doubt, improving skills related to acquiring money or raising capital for a business boost represents the difference between success and failure of the venture in question. Unequivocally, being good at starting a business does not automatically make one good at planning for growth. They must acquire planning skills that tie their vision to practical steps, which the business can take to realize that vision.

 

The acquisition of the aforementioned skill is important because without it, your firm or business venture can stagnate and lose out to the competition. One may have envisioned a smooth rise to the top when he commenced his business, but the truth is that he will surely encounter crisis or challenging situations.

 

Whether it has to do with shortage of money or the loss of his facilities to a fire disaster, he must acquire the skills that would enable him to remain calm in times of turmoil and maintain his ability to make adequate decisions.

 

The above step is very vital because the affected person can learn to triumph when it looks like he could be defeated. Needless to say that skill acquisition in decision making remains an inevitable tool while carrying out a business strategy.

 

On the other hand, the importance of acquiring strong communication skills will be evident in all of one’s entrepreneurial activities. From networking to leadership, one needs to constantly and consistently update his communication skills to enable him form alliances and encourage consensus.

 

Taking Nigeria as a case study, you would notice that most of our young ones, or the youth, are potentially preoccupied with variety of skills in various areas of human endeavour ranging from culture to sports, engineering/sciences, art works, and leadership, that need to be developed with a view to strengthening their respective entrepreneurship prowess towards nation-building.

 

To this end, there is need to encourage our young ones to be acquainted as well as acquire proficiency in one skill or the other within their reach.

 

The schools can help in this regard by ensuring that the pupils or students regularly create time for guidance and counselling during their school hours. A good counselling would enable each of them to discover their potential skills or abilities, thereby making them develop an interest in that area.

 

The technicalities of counselling or mentorship cannot be overlooked if we are desired to achieve success.

 

The parents and guardians, on their parts, should not hesitate to boost the morale of their children or wards in any skill they are fit in by providing all the needed materials or facilities for them to excel. Inter alia, there is an urgent need to revive the various technical colleges and commercial schools situated across the federation that are currently moribund.

 

And at the tertiary level, the ‘Entrepreneurship Studies’, which are usually done by the undergraduates as General Studies (GS), ought to be taken more seriously by the various school managements. In the same vein, the ongoing Industrial Training (IT) and Teaching Practice (TP) schemes being observed by the Universities/ Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, respectively, must be intensified by the concerned authorities. Above all, the various cultural heritages across the country need to be revisited with a view to harnessing the required ones.

 

This will go a long way towards discovering and reawakening thousands of skills among our numerous youths.

 

Most importantly, governments at all levels, the civil society, religious bodies, corporate organizations, and well-meaning individuals need to intensify awareness on the importance of skills acquisition as well as look for a way they can contribute their respective quotas in the crusade with a view to eradicating the socio-economic crisis currently ravaging the country.

 

There could not be a better time for such consignment than this moment the country’s economy is facing a serious challenge. Think about it!

 

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