THE Industrial Training Fund ( ITF) has revealed that all is set for the organization to train over 13,000 Nigerians in different skills before the end of 2018 as part of its efforts to harness talents, empower youths and also reduce unemployment in the country.
Disclosing this on Tuesday in Abuja, the Director-General of ITF, Joseph Ari stated that the Fund is to train “11,000 youths under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), 360 women under Women Skills Empowerment Programme, 75 youths in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration (Training on Wheels) and 50 youths in Designing and Garment Making (Training on Wheels).”
He said “120 are to be trained under the Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physically Challenged People (STEPP-C), 150 persons to be trained under the Post-Harvest Techniques and Project Development Programme, 150 persons to be trained in Acqua-Culture/Fishing, 150 in Manure Production, 150 in Crop Production and 150 persons to be trained in Poultry Farming.”
Ari, however, noted that, “with the number of Nigerians that are currently unemployed, the number of trainees we are commencing with, which is over 13,000 is like a drop of water in the ocean especially when weighed against the fact that training a country is more than training a company.”
“It is in this regard that we seized this opportunity to call on state governments and stakeholders to sponsor additional trainees. Such sponsorship will entail allowances and provision of start-up kits to trainees,” he stated.
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The DG also lamented that even though many Nigerians are unemployed, “ITF in conjunction with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), conducted a National Skills Gap Assessment in six priority sector of the Nigerian Economy namely; Agribusiness and agro-allied, Metal and Solid Minerals, Oil and gas related industry, construction, Light manufacturing and services.”
“Several disturbing facts emerged in the survey, the report of which was presented to stakeholders in Abuja in April this year indicated that despite spiralling unemployment, 925 trades were either difficult or hard to fill in the country ‘s labour market.”
According to him, “the breakdown showed that 19% vacancies were in the housing sector, 13.9% in petrochemical sector, 14.7% in other goods, 11.4% in the auto industry, 10.3% in textile, 10.1% in steel, 8.9% in the services sector and 3.3% in the leather industry.”
“The report also noted that 15.7% of all hard to fill vacancies were due to lack of technical skills, 11.8% due to lack of basic IT skills, 9.2% due to lack of advanced IT skills and between 9.2% and 7.5% of the vacancies were due to the lack of requisite soft skills.”
He, therefore, emphasized that tackling unemployment through skills acquisition “cannot and should not be the responsibility of ITF and other agencies of the Federal government alone, the co-operation and collaboration of all States Governments, the Organized Private Sector (OPS), politicians and other stakeholders “will be critical for a multiplier effect. Our doors are therefore wide open for collaboration in any aspect of human capacity development and vocational and technical skills training,” he concluded.
The Industrial Training Fund ( ITF) was established on 8th October 1971 to provide, promote and encourage the acquisition of skills in industry and commerce with a view to generating a pool of indigenous trained manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the private and public sectors of the economy of Nigeria.