ITF trains 316 youths in multiple trade areas

• As NACCIMA laments high level of unemployable population

In a bid to develop and create a pool of skills equipped workforce for Nigeria, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Model Skills Training Center (MSTC) in Abuja has graduated 316 youths in many trade areas cutting across the departments of Electrical Electronics (EET), Hospitality and Tourism, Facility Management Technology and Information and Communication Technology.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony in Abuja on Thursday, the Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari said: “In 2016, we sought and got the accreditation to run the National Innovation Diploma (NID) and National Vocational Certificate (NVC) parts one, two and three from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the Federal Ministry of Education.”

He noted that the “316 students that are graduating today will either go home with the National Innovative Diploma and National Institute of Technical Education Certificate (NITEC) or the National Vocational Certificate (NVC) and the ITF certificate of attendance.

“Our commitment to skills acquisition is premised on the fact that remains the most viable and sustainable solution to combating the rising unemployment and poverty that have continued to defy our best efforts as governments and non-governmental actors.

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“Indeed, you will agree with me that the era of white-collar jobs for all by Government is well and truly over as millions of graduates currently roam the streets without jobs. Therefore, the perception by many that hands-on skills are a preserve of the illiterate and never-do-wells in our society must change,” he stated.

Ari explained that “this is because in the World over, skills acquisition has become the currency of the 215tcentury that lubricates the wheels of development of any nation’s economy. That is why we teach with a unique approach of Hands-on, Minds-on and Hearts-on. We believe that these graduands have been imparted with the right skills, knowledge and values to be Work-ready, World-ready and Future-ready.”

Meanwhile, the president of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Aliyu said at the event that a brief glance at the data on unemployment from 2010 to 2018 as provided by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics shows a persistent rise in the number of unemployed; ranging from 3.5million in 2010 to around 21million as the last quarter of 2018.

She said: “Based on the data provided, one can infer that there are 23million people unemployed in Nigeria today. In contradiction, businesses across Nigeria suffer from a talent shortage, it is difficulty in filling job openings with skilled workers.

“This is evident is the growing need to employ expatriates to sustain production across various sectors” noting that “the dangers that unemployment brings to any country are well documented.

“The issues of insecurity and rising crime that face Nigeria are currently the focus of national discourse and is common knowledge” as she affirmed that providing gainful employment to the teeming population was the solution to various crimes across the country.”

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