The Industrial Training Fund (ITF), on Thursday in Abakaliki, graduated 200 trainees of its three-month intensive skills acquisition programme and empowered them with start-up packs.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the end of the eighth phase of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) in Ebonyi, the Area Manager, ITF Abakaliki Area Office, Mrs Ifeyinwa Osagie, described NISDP as one of the flagship programmes of ITF.
Osagie further said that the fund was also using the programme to accelerate the acquisition of technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills, create jobs, reduce unemployment and transform the economic landscape of the country.
“This is in line with the policy direction of President Muhammdau Buhari’s administration and a total of 300 Ebonyi youths will benefit from the programme.
“200 of the youths have successfully passed through a three-month intensive skills acquisition programme in catering and events management, tiling/production and laying of interlocking, furniture making, among others.
“The rest of the trainees will graduate at the end of the six-month training,” Osagie said.
She said that ITF will present the trainees with start-up packs to enable them to start their own businesses.
She further said that the graduands were expected to reciprocate the gesture by commencing their businesses immediately.
“ITF will soon visit you to track your progress in business and we urge state governments, private sector and public-spirited individuals to support us in the fight against unemployment.
“We appreciate the Ebonyi government for ensuring that the trainees’ selection was done according to the need and equitably distributed across the state,” she said.
Mr Joseph Ari, the Director General/Chief Executive of ITF, described NISDP as one of the numerous skills acquisition intervention programmes introduced and implemented by the fund to facilitate Federal Government’s initiative on job and wealth creation.
Ari, represented by Mrs Aje Adetola, the ITF Director of SERVICOM, said that NISDP focused on skills acquisition to create jobs and breed a new generation of entrepreneurs.
“This is to transform the country’s economic landscape because the programme has equipped over 200,000 Nigerians nationwide and 5,405 individuals with skills for employability and entreprenuership in Ebonyi,” he said.
The state Acting Commissioner, Ministry of Human Capital Development and Monitoring, Mr Uchenna Orji, commended ITF for the initiative and its overall contribution in providing jobs for youths in the state.
Orji, represented by Mr Enyinnaya Oko-Egwu, a Permanent Secretary in the minisitry, advised the trainees not to sell the start-up packs and charged ITF to closely monitor the usage of the materials by the trainees.
Miss Amaka Alice, one of the trainees, thanked the fund for the prompt release of the start-up packs, which included cooking gas and beautification tools, among others. (NAN)