The federal government has commenced a national training programme for youths on vocational skills acquisition/emerging trades as a way of reducing the scourge of unemployment in the country.
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN , who flagged off the programme in Warri, Delta state, said the training was part of government’s commitment to provide solutions to youth unemployment nationwide.
He noted that the training, organised by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, was a nationwide programme to promote skill development targeting the youth, with the South-South region as the first beneficiary.
Keyamo disclosed that the programme would train youth of the South-South region in “targeted trades, which are in line with the Skill demands available in the region, with a view to creating employers out of them.”
He added that “the programme is organized in batches to accommodate an expected large turnout of participants and to increase its coverage and impact in the region.”
According to him, the nationwide training would also “provide relevant information, resources and incentives for the development of skills, entrepreneurship and enterprises necessary for national growth.
“The intervention programme seeks to complement and boost the conventional skills development trainings available at our existing centres nationwide where individuals, corporate organizations, non-governmental organizations, government and private companies send their personnel to learn skills, most of whom are gainfully employed, while others are self-employed and some employers.”
In a statement by the Deputy Director Press, Charles Akpan, the minister noted that such trainings would not only equip the youths with skills to make a living, as well as create employment for others, but would also lure them away from social vices and crimes.
Keyamo stated that the initiative resonated with government’s commitment to ensuring youth inclusiveness in its plans and programmes.
He further noted that “formal employment has proven to be insufficient, giving rise to an increase in informal employment, which is largely considered as the driving force of most developing countries’ economies. This in clear terms necessitates the need for schemes that will equip the youth with specialized skills to empower them for gainful employment both in the formal and informal markets.”
Keyamo emphasised the need for skill acquisition and upgrading, as “it is the bedrock for social and economic development of any nation and would consequently lead to job creation and self-sustenance for the teeming youth.”
The minister urged the participants to make the best of the opportunity given them, as their impressive performance would “spur government to do more in the area of Youth trainings/empowerment and open doors for employment and wealth creation.”
Also speaking, Director, Skills Development and Certification Department, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Amos Johnson, stated that the training would fill the skill gap and employer needs in the South-South zone.