The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has trained no fewer than 150,000 youths, women, People With Disabilities (PWD) and other vulnerable groups on entrepreneurial and technical skills.
Mr Joseph Ari, the Director-General, ITF, said the training cuts across various programmes designed by the fund.
Ari made this known at an Accountability Forum for public office holders organized by the Plateau state chapter of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday in Jos, the state’s capital in Central Nigeria.
He listed the programmes to include National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Training on Wheels and the Technical Skills Development Project (TSDP), amongst others.
“We trained them to become employable because research has shown that there are vacancies in some organizations but applicants do not have the requisite skills.
“This is why there is the mass employment of expatriates from some neighbouring countries, which is even beyond the quota earmarked for them to fill to address these gaps,’’ he said.
He said that through the NISDP, 30,000 youths, drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were trained on welding and fabrication, tailoring and fashion design as well as plumbing and pipe-fitting.
According to him, these skills are in high demand in Nigeria.
“The aforementioned programmes started when I assumed office in December 2016.
“We went further by providing start-up packs to all the beneficiaries of the programmes,’’ he added.
He explained that priority was given to rural women and people living with disabilities to participate in the programmes:
“These are the vulnerable groups, who are in dire need of skills for economic empowerment.
“Through WOSEP, more than 500 rural women were drawn each from 13 states and the FCT.
“They were trained across 32 centres and on 11 different trades, including event management, cosmetology, poultry farming, bead making, tailoring and fashion design, amongst others.’’
He said more than 120 beneficiaries were also trained in tailoring and garment-making, using ITF mobile training units.
The ITF is partnering with the National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMIP) to empower deported and returnee migrants with life and technical skills to begin a new life in the country.
Amaka E. Nliam