Esther Eshiet

Ashoka Fellow
Nigeria,
Fellow Since 2013

Citation

This profile was prepared when Esther Eshiet was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Esther is building a movement to inspire and support young people to take charge of their career development. She has developed a system where young people incorporate career planning and skills development into their lifestyle long before they are ready to enter into the workforce. In this way, youth are encouraged to pursue their passions and find the appropriate training to do so from an early age, thereby preventing the frustration and idleness that many young Nigerians experience upon graduation today.

She is also opening up unconventional ways for young people to improve their employability, specifically through volunteer and internship opportunities, and demonstrating how young people can make an easy transition from school to workplace. These volunteer opportunities offer young people the space to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical setting and to acquire those skills that are best learnt on the job. She is shifting the focus of young Nigerians away from the mere acquisition of academic credentials and encouraging them to combine career planning, practical training and traditional education to improve their employability and to prepare them for the workplace. She is working with companies and organizations to develop internship and graduate-trainee programs and demonstrating that by doing so, they are ensuring prospective employees for themselves and contributing to resolving the national youth unemployment crisis.

Esther has partnered with the Ministry of Education to implement her model and is currently working with thirty schools in the city of Calabar, Nigeria. She is working to expand her model across the Cross River State and has partnered with a former participant to scale to Ekiti State. Esther is also focused on broadening her model through an online platform which provides information to young Nigerians on available opportunities and will, in the future, house an e-mentoring program that is currently under development.
The Problem
The Strategy

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