By Franca Ofili
Industrial Training Fund (ITF) will train 13,000 Nigerians in 11 vocational skills in order to achieve the Federal Government’s policy on job and wealth creation, the Director-General, Mr Joseph Ari, has said.
Ari made the plan known during a meeting with managers of ITF Training Centre in Jos, Mr Suleyol Chagu, Head, Public Affairs Unit of ITF, said in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
”In a renewed effort to equip Nigerians with skills in line with its mandate and to ensure the achievement of the Federal Government’s policy on job/wealth creation, the Industrial Training Fund has declared 2018 as a year for training.
”The implementation of the programmes will commence on various dates between July and August and terminate in November,” Ari said.
He said he declaration was informed by the growing realisation that accelerated skills acquisition was the only way to stem unemployment, especially among youths.
According to him, governments all over the world have turned to skills acquisition, which is the universal currency of the 21st century, to arm their citizenry with skills for employment and growth.
Ari listed the skills programmes for implementation to include National Industrial Skills Development Programme, Women Skills Empowerment Programme, Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physically Challenged, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, and Designing and Garment Making.
He said within the period, five other training programmes – Post-Harvest Techniques and Product Development, Aqua-Culture and Fish Farming, Manure Production, Crop Production and Greenhouse Technology and Poultry Farming would be implemented.
He said the programmes aimed at equipping Nigerian farmers with requisite skills for improved farm yield would be implemented using the Galilee International Management Institute Model.
”The emphasis on skills for the agricultural sector was informed by the fact that it is the occupation of majority of Nigerians and a key component of the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government.
“The programmes, which are mostly targeted at youths, women and the physically challenged, were carefully selected based on projected value addition to the nation’s economy and the individual beneficiaries,” he added.
According to him, other training programmes will be implemented in some selected states.
He called on the states and local governments to collaborate with the fund for a multiplier effect of programmes.
Ari urged state governments and other stakeholders to sponsor additional trainees for the programmes.
He said such stakeholders would be required to cover the monthly stipends of the trainees, provide start-up packs for such additional trainees and also offset any allowances for the master-craftsmen that would be retained as a result of the additional trainees.
He said that in 2017, ITF trained more than 150,000 Nigerians on various trades and crafts and that the beneficiaries were earning sustainable livelihoods either as paid workers or as entrepreneurs employing others.(NAN)