Up to 400 youths in Cross River state are to be lifted out of unemployment through various skills acquisition training with start-up packs made available to them, Charles Adebayo, the regional welfare manager of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has disclosed.
Adebayo, who said this in Calabar at the weekend during the Career Fair programme organised by the Church, noted that the aim was to enable youths to become self-reliant.
“The event is to bring members, particular the unemployed youths, together, introduce them to and train them on various skills and then cause them to be self-reliant so as to help them take care of themselves and their families economically.
“We are targeting at least four hundred youths. They will be trained and introduced to available programmes. Those who are genuinely interested will apply to whatever programme they wish to do.
“There are some equipment we have made available or provided for them, very basic equipment they can use to start up and we believe with this, they can stand on their own instead of waiting endlessly for white collar jobs,” Adebayo stated.
On his part, Ephraim Ebong, the President of Calabar Nigeria South Stake said, “The three stakes of the Church in Calabar had to put heads together to organise the fair having realized the need for us to help our young ones out of unemployment.
“Some people attending the programme are not our members but we believe everyone we see daily is a son and daughter of our father in heaven as such should also benefit from this type of event.”
He added that many service providers were invited to impact the attendees with knowledge on skills.
Corroborating, Akwaowo Joseph Ekong, the President of Calabar Nigeria North Stake, said the fair was part of their efforts to help the society and the community while Alex Nkoro, the Calabar Nigeria Stake President, said the fair is consistent with the teachings of the Church on self-reliance.
In her remarks, the Area Manager of the Industrial Training Fund, whose message was delivered by Agha Williams said the ITF would collaborate with the Church, and promised to help fine-tune the training modules to see how the programme could boost the manpower base of the country.
Similarly, Kingsley Abang, the deputy director of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) in the University of Calabar (UniCal) said the trainees would be exposed to 23 ventures and linked to the South-South EDC which is backed by the CBN to help the trainees access soft loans to enhance their career.