Chibuike Nwabuko, Abuja
Over 200 Nigerian universities are currently taking part in the Industrial Training Fund (ITF)-Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), which is designed to boost the practical and skills knowledge of students during the course of their Industrial attachment programme with the agency.
The programme is also extended beyond students in various universities in the country to those in the Colleges of Education, and National Board for Technical Education to grow the skills of the trainees, and enable them fill the skills gap required by various ndustries in the country.Joseph Ari, the director general of (ITF) said during media interaction on Tuesday in Abuja that the ITF said the need to build the capacity of young professionals is critical, especially now there is global demand for requisite skills of various industries globally.
“As part of what we are doing currently,we are training 500 of every youths in each states in three grey areas. We discussed with the government to empower them with tools and start up packs to kick-start immediately. Once I leave you now we are headed to Edo to meet with Governor Obaseki to commence the training of youths in his states.
“In Katsina State, for instance, we have done such training in Katsina State, and you hardly hear the issue of restiveness there. You hear of Katsina Chalk and Katsina Paint. We trained the citizens drawn from various local governments on making of Katsina chalk and paints,and before long demand has became higher than supply.
“Once we move into a state, we discuss with you on training in three grey areas, and the state government’s empower them with tools, which would enable them set up on their own. When they set up on their own, they become employers of labour, and that is how MSMES are grown and developed.
“As we train them under this scheme, we would bring in the Small and Medium Term Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN) to help us with business support services that would enable the trainees remain in business and grow the SME subsector,” he said.
Meanhwhile,the director general while giving a breakdown of the agency’s efforts said.
During the period from October to December 2016, under our quick wins programme,we completed Batch A of the fifth phase of National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NSIDP), which is an off-shoot of Nigerian Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP), and graduated 10,100 youths with employable skills.
On SIWES Payments training disbursement, he said: “Payment of N965,222,982 million to 79,852 students from 136 tertiary institutions across the country. The ITF made payment of N2,206,305,343.34 billion to 277 companies as reinbursement claims.”