The Federal Government, on Monday, said the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) was retained by the current administration because it has been able to reduce graduate unemployment across the country.
Besides, it said no fewer than 41,161 graduates, had benefitted from the programme with over 35,000 already exited and secured jobs.
The project director, GIS, Federal ministry of Finance, Mr Dennis Chukwu, said this in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, at the career development and entrepreneurship skills training for beneficiaries of the scheme.
He said many of the graduates had also secured credit facilities and grants to expand businesses they established with GIS stipends.
He gave the breakdown of the beneficiaries to include 68 per cent male, 31 per cent female, while the vulnerable, had one per cent.
According to the director, who was represented by Mrs Memunat Usman, the programme had been able to give hope to many young school leavers that would have been roaming the streets.
“As a government, we can boldly say that the purpose of setting up GIS, which is for unemployed graduates to acquire employable skills is being achieved.
However, as long as thousands of graduates still remain unemployed, we will continue to improve the capacity of the scheme to absorb more applicants”.
According to him, the career development and entrepreneurship skills training, was designed to help the beneficiaries to answer the question of “what next” and begin plans for the future.
Also, Chukwu said at a three-day workshop organised for GIS internship in Abeokuta, with the theme “Orientation and employability skills training for interns and firm representatives in Ogun State” through Mr Eronwu Emmanuel, that the Federal Government was poised at tackling high rate of unemployment in special partnerships with government and non-governmental organisations to have graduates trained, mentored and supported in non-oil sectors.
“This is part of government’s commitment in contributing towards the enhancement of their capacity in service effectiveness, especially, through staff assessment, official etiquette and staff management through structured mentorship. It also provides an opportunity to share ideas with other partners and interns on work place ethnics, performance and how to optimise on the benefits of the scheme”.