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Ughelli — Chairman, Delta State branch of the Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionals, Chief Anthony Odibo, has warned safety and health workers against the hazards being created by green jobs in the country.
Odibo, who gave the warning in a chat with newsmen to mark the World Day for Safety and Health Workers, said: "The green jobs have created new hazards which are unknown to the ordinary workers. Because of this, there is now the need to seek the advice of trained Occupational Safety and Health professionals, who have the potential to assess the hazards and give advice to stem it.
"While these jobs are meant to help improve the environment, revitalise the economy and create new employment opportunities, one of the greatest risks is that, in the haste to create these new jobs in large numbers, little attention is paid to their quality."
The creation of green jobs is essential in ensuring a sustainable future, UN officials said on Friday in New York. The UN Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the officials spoke at a forum with the theme "Empowering Youth with Better Job Opportunities". The forum which was held at the UN Headquarters was aimed at giving young people a platform to voice their concerns, experiences and ideas to tackle youth unemployment. "Young people are the future of our societies; as such they should also be part of solutions."Creating a sustainable future means empowering youths with better job opportunities and it means giving young people a voice," Vice President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Luis de Alba, told the forum. He added that it waculles important to look at under-employment and vulnerable employment, as many young people are in precarious short-term contracts, or trapped in low-skill and poorly-paid jobs. "Labour policies and institutions may not create any incentives to hire young people, and, as we all know, policies are not yet in place in many countries to equip young people with the skills demanded by today's labour market," de Alba said. In her address to participants, UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said youths were mobilising like never before and that their ideas could help countries achieve sustainable development objectives. "Young people can drive the global push for green growth. As entrepreneurs, consumers and leaders, they can adopt new lifestyles that respect our planet. "They can promote trends that encourage sustainable development," she said, adding that youth participation was particularly important in events such as the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The conference is scheduled for next month in Rio, Brazil. NAN reports that youth unemployment has soared in both affluent and poor countries since the global financial crisis began in 2008, with the largest annual increase on record reported in 2009. At one point, nearly 76 million people aged between 15 and 24 years of age were unemployed worldwide and, currently, young people are three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. In Europe nearly one in four young people are out of a job, and in North Africa and the Middle East youth unemployment is almost 30 per cent, the highest worldwide. The Secretary-General for Rio+20, Sha Zukang, underlined that job creation was a top priority for action for the conference, because ensuring employment for youths goes hand in hand with sustainable development. "Unemployment affects both current well-being and future prospects, and these ramifications can trickle down to the next generation. "There is a growing convergence of views on the importance of creating green jobs. By training our youths in the skills needed for transition to a green economy, we can address both unemployment and sustainable development issues," she said.