Over 200 youths get free vocational training, start-up kit

Unemployment is a major challenge in Nigeria today and thousands of youths endlessly prowl the labour market for a chance to get employed. And as parts, of efforts to reduce the rising figure of unemployment, many agencies, both public and private, have tried to set youths on the path of financial independence through entrepreneurship.

Indeed, entrepreneurship has been listed as one of the most effective ways to curb unemployment and poverty as well as engage youths constructively and take idleness away from them, especially at a period when most are home and vulnerable to social vices.

Many organisations have tried to assist the government by contributing time and resources to entrepreneurship development. And as part of private contributions to this cause, the Adegboyega Adegoke Resource Centre (AARC), founded by the Ajia Balogun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Chief Adegboyega Taofeek Adegoke, trained 200 youths on diverse entrepreneurial skills to develop their human capital to eradicate vices and make them self-reliant while he also distributed required working tools worth millions of naira to all the 200 beneficiaries.

At the graduation ceremony last week, the chairman and chief executive officer of AARC, Oloye Adegoke, declared that the only way to minimize poverty and curb social vices among youths in the country is the human development through vocational training and entrepreneurial skills acquisition adding that training and empowerment would go a long way in reducing poverty, joblessness and the attendant crimes among the youths in the society

He urged government at all levels to invest more in vocational studies and training for youths rather than focusing on white-collar jobs.

Some of the start-up kits distributed.

He said, “There are poverty and unemployment in the land coupled with the consequences such as social vices, which we can reduce drastically if the government, corporate bodies, foundations and individual philanthropists can invest in vocational studies. By doing so, many youths will be engaged and they will be far away from social vices that can dent their image and that of their families.”

He explained: “In my own little way in contributing to youth development and poverty alleviation, my foundation, Adegboyega Adegoke Resource Centre, has devised a training programme for youths in several vocations like candle and soap making, hairdressing, chalk making, tailoring, computer engineering, POP, catering, cake making, air freshener production, computer repair, barbing and others.

“We are presenting work tools to about 75 of them today, out of 200 as the first batch to follow Covid-19 protocol. Another set of two batches will follow in the next few weeks. Part of what we are distributing include sewing machines, hairdryer, laptops computers, generators, cash and other work implements.

“We have trained people on how to be self-reliant and, to become an entrepreneur. This will help in alleviating the poverty level in the state and country at large, and assist beneficiaries to generate income for themselves. The way the country is going now, you cannot rely on white-collar job. We are also orientating the beneficiaries to be self-reliant instead of waiting for white-collar jobs that we all know are not there. They will be taught to have a saving culture.”

This was not his first contribution; he had also given financial support worth millions of naira to the Faculty of Agriculture, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) to acquire equipment for irrigation farming to help students during the dry season. He also donated 5.2 millon naira to the Department of Agric-economy in his alma mater, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), to equip their econometric laboratory and also to renovate their toilets.

He has commenced construction of drainage within Ire Akari Estate in Soka, Ibadan and recently distributed N5000 cash palliative to 180 widows across nine local government areas of Ibadan and Ibarapa to cushion the effects the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking further ion the training programme, he said, “At AARC, the programme is about helping people. What we do is to empower people, train them to be useful to the society, especially the youths, so that they can be useful to themselves and the society at large. The intention is to reduce poverty, unemployment, thuggery and stop youths from wandering aimlessly about.

“I am happy we are making progress. I am happy we are touching the lives of people. I am happy people are feeling us. I am happy they will be useful to themselves and we will continue to monitor them. I will continue to intervene in the area of human development, contribute my quota to the development of the society, Oyo state and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.

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