The project director, Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Dennis Chukwu, on Monday, said with the implementation of the scheme, jobless graduates have become employers of labour, thus stimulating socio-economic development in the country.
He said about 41, 161 graduates had benefited from the scheme, comprising 68 per cent males, 31 per cent females and one per cent vulnerable, explaining that GIS was designed by the Federal Government as interventionist programme to tackle growing rates of unemployment in the country.
Chukwu made the disclosure in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, during the career development and entrepreneurship skills training organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance and Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) for beneficiaries of GIS.
Represented by Mrs Oyidiya Okore, he maintained that GIS since inception, had demonstrated high prospects for job creation and social protection of Nigerian youths, stressing that “the programme presents opportunities for graduates interns to gain employment in organisations, where they worked in other organisations or self-employment.”
According to Chukwu, “so far, 41, 161 have benefitted from the scheme. Over 35, 000 have exited the scheme, with thousands of them having secured jobs. Many have secured credit facilities and grants (including You WIN Grant) to expand businesses they set up using GIS monthly stipends of N30, 000 and many have set up cooperative associations, some of which have transformed into SMEs. Rather than seeking for work, they are becoming employers.
“As government, we can boldly say that the purpose of setting up the Graduate Internship Scheme, 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.”
Speaking during a chat with the Nigerian Tribune, one of the beneficiaries, Miss Olaoye Cecilia said “as a marketer, I want to invest in the selling of building and plumbing materials. Since the training began, I have been able to save part of my monthly stipend. With this, I would invest in building materials and will be able to employ some jobless graduates to learn from the trade.”