The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), have partnered to train Nigerian youths in skills acquisition as a means of generating employment and creating wealth.
Speaking on Monday, in Abuja, at the graduation of over 255 youths trained in different vocational fields, the Director-General of the ITF, Sir Joseph Ari said: “The graduation we are witnessing today is an outcome of the Federal Government’s renewed commitment to empowering countless youths with cutting-edge technical and vocational skills training to tackle the challenges of poverty and unemployment that is bedevilling our dear country.
“It all began in late 2019 after a visit by the Management of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to the Fund’s Model Skills Training Centre (MSTC), Abuja.
“The delegation, which was impressed by the quality of equipment at the Centre, opened negotiations with the ITF for the empowerment of 255 unemployed youths with technical vocational skills.
“Although the six–month programme was billed to commence in early 2020, it did not start until August 2020 as a result of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Ari noted that “In order for the trainees to acquire professional certification, the MSTC implemented the programme in collaboration with three professional bodies namely; the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), Nigerian Association of Engineering Craftsmen – COREN and CISCO Academy, who equipped them with skills in Industrial Automation and Mechatronics, Instrumentation and Process Control, I.T Essentials/ Comp-TIA A+, Mobile Phone troubleshooting and repairs, Electrical Electronics Technology, Building Technology, Residential Air conditioning, Mechanical Services and, Catering and Event Management.
“We have no doubt that given the hands-on nature of the six-month training, which was comprised of three months intensive training at the MSTC and three months practical attachment, the graduands will no doubt contribute immensely to the development of the national economy.
“I am thrilled to inform you that from this training, our trainees were able to assemble the first indigenous GSM smartphone. As of today, plans are underway to seek collaborations from investors to partner with the ITF to boost this innovation.”
The DG commended the Executive Secretary and Management of the NCDMB for the collaboration and sponsorship of the trainees and I wish to use this opportunity to call on other stakeholders to partner with the ITF to conduct similar programmes to empower the teeming youth of the country with the requisite skills.
“Our commitment to skills acquisition is premised on the fact that it remains the most viable and sustainable solution to combatting the rising unemployment and poverty that have continued to defy our best efforts as governments and non-governmental actors.
“It is for this reason, that the MSTC runs modular courses of between one, three and six months for more Nigerians to acquire a skill for employability and entrepreneurship.
“It is also for the same reason that the Centre conducts graduate upskilling programmes for those desirous of upgrading their skills or learning a new occupational trade.”
Ari said: “In recognition of the fact that when you catch the young ones early enough, the attraction to hands-on skills persists all through their lives, the Centre has introduced Summer Boot Camp for children between the ages 10-15 and gives them hands-on training in the following areas: Nigeria Cuisine, Pastry, Hygiene and Safety, Mobile Robot Technology, Electronic Circuit Design & Troubleshooting Technology, Programmable Logic Circuit, Computer Hardware, Computer Appreciation, Networking Fundamentals, and Web design.
“Going forward, the objective of the Centre is to ensure that as many Nigerians as possible are equipped with the skills for entrepreneurship and employability in order to avert the attendant effects of poverty and unemployment that have manifested themselves in our dear country in the form of rising criminality including kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and many other antisocial behaviours. We however believe that for this to happen, all Nigerians across the various strata of society should heed our clarion call for synergy with the ITF.
He called on graduands to take full advantage of the opportunity provided by this training, “to not only put food on your family’s table but to also make your own meaningful contribution to the economy.
“Therefore, do not contemplate selling any of the start-up kits that will be presented to you shortly. We expect that all items given to you will be put to judicious use and not be sold for a cheap gain,” he advised.