The Industrial Training Fund,(ITF) is currently seeking for improved funding to sustain it’s Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme(SIWES),as it has observed that the Geometric increase of the students who continuously apply for the programme yearly from Nigeria’s institutions of higher learning.
Joseph Ari,the director general of the Fund on Tuesday in Abuja said the federal government is determined to sustain the scheme as a strategyy in bridging the man power gap rquirement of industries.
“Already,there is an increase in population of our in takes from our institutions of higher learning.In this our biennial conference,we would focus on how to address the funding challenges and also resolve issues bothering on geometric increase in the number of courses and students in the scheme”The director general said at the 13th Biennial SIWES National Conference in Abuja.
He pointed out also that the federal government is determined to sustain the programme as a key driver in addressing youth and graduate unemployment in the country,which currently hovers around 14.2 % according to latest figure from Nigeria Bureau of statistics.
SIWES is a skill based training programme that exposes students of approved higher institutions in Nigeria including,Polytechnics, Universities and Colleges of Education,to real life work situation.The Scheme is also meant to enable them understand and acquire basic technical ,professional and ethical skills required in the industrial setting of their chosen area if academic discipline.
It further prepares students to fit in readily in employment in Public and Private Sectors of the economy,with the targets of reducing the need of the employment of expatriates in the field of engineering,technology and other professional areas.
Empirical evidence from several skills gaps surveys has revealed that, despite soaring unemployment especially among the youth, vacancies still exist that are currently filled by persons other than Nigerians.
The director general,however revealed that the federal government is committed towards addressing industry concerns and demands by ensuring the needed man-power demands are supplied by Nigerians empowered through the SIWES programme.
“We are mindful of the fact that industrialised nations like Brazil, Singapore and China moved from developing to developed economies through harnessing their skilled manpower and less dependence on mono-economy”Ari said.
HARRISON EDEH, ABUJA