FG to tackle unemployment through industrial skills development
March 6, 2013 | 4:02 pm| | | Start Conversation
The Federal has reaffirmed its commitment to tackling unemployment across the country through the implementation of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said this during the inauguration of the Industrial Training Funds’ Headquarters Annex and ICT Training Centre, in Jos on Friday.
According to Aganga, the NISDP is a skills acquisition programme designed to attract resource empowerment for its trainees upon graduation and it is in line with the Industrial Revolution Plan of the Ministry of Trade and Investment.
He said, “We are already on the path to addressing the problem of skills gap and unemployment through the introduction and implementation of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme. The idea is that we want to turn our quantity advantage as a nation into a productive advantage. And the only way to do it is through skills acquisition and education after which we can provide opportunities for those that have acquired the skills to set up their own businesses or to be gainfully employed.
“Therefore, the strategy of the Ministry of Trade and Investment, working together with the ITF, is to first of all identify the critical sectors of the economy where we have comparative and competitive advantage. The second thing is to link those sectors or industries that we have identified to innovation, Research and Development. Then, the third thing is to link those sectors to industrial skills development. That is where the NISDP comes in.”
The minister said that his ministry, in collaboration with the ITF, had put structures in place to ensure that trainees from the NISDP were empowered to be either gainfully employed or able to set up their own businesses.
He said, “We have already put a robust structure in place to enable those who have been trained to be gainfully employed. It is useless just teaching people how to do things without training them to work. By training to work, we mean providing them the opportunities, either to be gainfully employed or to set up their own businesses and form cooperatives.
“That is the path that we have started already. If we allow this to go on for the next three years, we will make significant impact in terms of turning our quantity advantage into productive advantage – where most Nigerians will be gainfully employed and also have the opportunity to move up the value chain with respect to the skills they have acquired.”
Speaking during the event, the Director-General of ITF, Longmas Wapmuk, said that the agency would establish 37 Industrial Skills Training Centres across the country, in addition to Sector-Specific Training Centres for manufacturing, agro-allied, construction and other critical sectors of the nation’s economy.
He noted that the implementation of these initiatives, expected to generate 29,875 readily employable graduates annually, would go a long way in reducing unemployment, creating wealth and enhancing national security.
Wapmuk said, “Our focus is to establish 37 Industrial Skills Training Centres, one in each state and the Federal Capital Territory, with six Centres of Advanced Skills Training for Employment for skills broadening and upgrading in addition to Sector-Specific Skills Training Centres to cater for the skills needed for manufacturing, Agric-Agro allied, construction and other critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.
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