By Emmanuella Anokam
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) have empowered 255 youths with technical and vocational skills to tackle rising poverty and unemployment.
Sir Joseph Ari, Director-General, ITF, during the graduation of the trainees on Monday in Abuja, made a clarion call for more synergy with organisations and Nigerians across various strata of society in skills training.
The youths were trained on Industrial Automation and Mechatronics, Instrumentation and Process Control, I.T Essentials/ Comp-TIA A+, Mobile Phone Troubleshooting and Repairs.
Others are Electrical Electronics Technology, Building Technology, Residential Air conditioning, Mechanical Services, Catering and Event Management.
Ari said that skills acquisition remained the most viable and sustainable solution to combatting the rising unemployment and poverty in the country.
The director general recalled that the management of NCDMB in 2019 sought for collaboration in skills training with the fund’s Model Skills Training Centre (MSTC), Abuja.
He said the board’s delegation, which was impressed by the quality of equipment at the centre, opened negotiations with ITF for the empowerment of the 255 unemployed youths with technical vocational skills.
“Although the six months programme was billed to commence in early 2020, it did not start until August 2020 as a result of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic,” he said.
In order for the trainees to acquire professional certification, the D-G said the MSTC implemented the programme in collaboration with three professional bodies.
He named the professional bodies as the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), Nigerian Association of Engineering Craftsmen – Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and CISCO Networking Academy.
These bodies, according to him equipped the youths with the listed technical and vocational skills.
The ITF boss said that with the training acquired by the graduates, they would no doubt contribute immensely to the development of the national economy.
“I am thrilled to inform you that from this training, our trainees were able to assemble the first indigenous GSM smartphone.
“As at today, plans are underway to seek collaboration from investors to partner with the ITF to boost this innovation,” he said.
Ari, while commending the board on the collaboration and sponsorship of the trainees urged other stakeholders to partner with the ITF to conduct similar programmes.
He urged them to do so to empower the teeming youth population with requisite skills.
In a remark, Mr Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, said that the board had trained no fewer than 10, 000 youths, exposing them to skill acquisition programmes.
Wabote, represented by Mr Patrick Obah, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NCDMB, said the training aimed at providing necessary skill required to support activities within the oil and gas sector of the economy.
“One common denominator in the training programme was the infusion of entrepreneurship and the focus on achieving success in making things in Nigeria and achieving international competitiveness,” he said,
He called on all the graduates to make use of the training and starter packs given to them to improve the Nigerian economy and become employers of labour.
In order to complement their effort and commitment, the NCDMB provided the trainees with starter packs, to support them on the transformational journey of entrepreneurship.(NAN)