The Industrial Training Fund, ITF has graduated 500 beneficiaries under its National Industrial Skills Development Programme in Gombe State, with start up packs to start their business.
The skills acquired by the beneficiaries, who are the 2017 batch, were in the field of welding and fabrication, plumbing and piping-fitting, tailoring, Aluminium, tiling, plaster of Paris and photography.
Presenting the start-up packs to the beneficiaries, the Director General of the ITF, Sir Joseph Ari said; “the skills were carefully selected based on the potential to directly impact on the economy of the state and the country as a whole.’’
This year, the Industrial Training Fund was combining the implementation of the 2018 and 2019 National Industrial Skills Development Programmes to train 590 citizens of Gombe State with skills and empowered with start up packs to create jobs and subsequently transform the economic landscape of the country.
Sir Ari said; ”the Industrial Training Fund was going to establish an Industrial Training Centre in Gombe, which will be modelled after the organisations existing Industrial Skills Training centres across Nigeria, to function as a vocational and technical skills acquisition centre with state-of-the-art equipment.”
The centre is also to take care of Industrial training needs for people of the North East zone.
The Deputy Governor, Dr Manassah Jatau, who represented Governor Muhammadu Yahaya at the programme said the administration had the political would to establish one skills acquisition centre in every ward in the state.
Dr. Jatau stated that ”the aid the centres would enable youths learn any trade of their choice to address the issue of unemployment and to improve human capital.”
”The idea of establishing the industrial skill training centre would go a long way in complementing the state government commitment to address lack of employment through skill acquisition,” he stated.
The Gombe State Deputy Governor explained that facilities in the state were over stretched due to the influx of people from other states into the state as a result of insurgency, saying ”interventions from whatever quarter was a welcome development, to enable people in the state improve their economic well being.”
He said the government would consider providing a much bigger land for the proposed site for the establishment of the centre to have enough space for operations.
The intervention by ITF is said to be borne out of the realisation that findings in recent times have indicated that major causes of insecurity in some parts of the country are linked to unemployment, hence the efforts made by the Nigerian and State governments to address this issue, because projections are that unemployment would rise to 33.5% by 2020, with its consequences on the security of the country.
Against these development, the Industrial Training Fund says the Nigerian Government was determined to change the narratives by initiating consequential and multifaceted programmes and strategies, intended to escalate access to skills acquisition by expanding its training infrastructure for more Nigerians to benefit from.
To achieve this, the Nigerian Government had directed the agency to come up with job creation strategies to tackle unemployment and subsequently insecurity.
Sir Ari said 20 million jobs would ultimately be Created in Nigeria.
“In recognition of our efforts to tackle unemployment, the Nigerian Government recently commissioned the fund to come up with multifaceted job creation strategies that will lead to a lasting solution to this hydra headed problem of unemployment. The report, which was presented to stakeholders in Abuja was well received by all and is currently undergoing consideration by the presidency.
”The proposal showed that in the area of agriculture, which is a major preoccupation of Nigerians and a key focus of the Next Level Agenda. A total of 150, 000 direct and indirect jobs will be created along the agricultural value chain. The target will be achieved through the implementation of the following programmes there. The Vegetable value Vantage (TRIPPLE V), Livestock Production (LIPRO), Women Driven Mechanisation Programme (WODAMP). In all, a total of about 20 million direct and indirect jobs will e created through these initiatives,” Sir Ari said.
The Industrial Training Fund called on the beneficiaries to make use of the skills and equipment, which had been given to them as start up pack, not only to provide food for their families, but contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian economy.
It also urged parents to encourage their children and wards to acquire skills, as a vocation and real alternatives that could lead to meaningful life, but that they should never consider hands on skills as dirty and a preserve of the illiterate and the never-do-well in the society.