Lawal SULEIMAN, Niger State College of Education, Nigeria, ID LLCE2018-346;     ABSTRACT: The paper discusses the imperative of 21st Century literacy skills for youth development from two perspectives. The first is the realization of the gross inadequacies of the teaching of the “3Rs” for youth to realistically and practically complete favourably in a globalized economy. The second is the understanding that youth in Nigeria need to be better equipped with tools that will enable them to initiate and create sustainable ventures in the face of multiple challenges. The challenges ranges from unemployment, poverty, negative social vices, lack of creativity, effects of insurgency and lack of knowledge driven economy. In furtherance to the aforementioned, the core elements of 21st Century literacy skills which are critical thinking, creativity, knowledge and use of information technology and collaboration with other members of the society are discussed. The paper equally addresses the ways and the potential benefits of using the core elements of 21st Century literacy skills for youth development. Specific recommendations which include the teaching of ICT from the primary school levels, the need to review the curriculum of education at all levels to incorporate core elements of 21st Century skills, training and retraining of personnel for the new dispensation and mass production of teaching materials are identified and discussed.

Keywords: 21st Century, literacy skills, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and insurgency.