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GIS gives lifeline to over 41,161 graduates


Graduates-1The Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) has trained over 41,161 beneficiaries 68 per cent of whom are males, 31 per cent females and one per cent physically challenged persons, the project director Mr. Dennis Chukwu, has disclosed.

Chukwu, who spoke on Tuesday at the project’s Career Development and Entrepreneurship Skills Training for interns held at Halims Hotel, Lokoja, indicated that over 35,000 have exited the scheme with thousands of them well placed in secured jobs.

The scheme which commenced in October, 2012, as a social safety net component of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), is being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Finance with a mandate to provide short-term employment for graduates.

He explained that many of the beneficiaries who passed through the scheme have also secured have secured credit facilities and grants (including YouWin Grant), to expand businesses they had set up using GIS stipends.

“Many have also set up cooperative associations, some of which have transformed into Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) rather than seeking for jobs, thereby becoming employers.”

The project Director reiterated the fact that they have been able to achieve the purpose for which the scheme was set up, is for unemployed graduates to acquire employable skills

He promised to raise the bar on improving the capacity of the scheme to absorb more applicants as long as thousands of graduates remain unemployed.

According to him: “My hope is that the GIS will be yet, another example that Nigeria will sell to the world as a way out of graduate unemployment.

“It is also my hope that some years down the, GIS interns will galvanise different sectors, especially the non oil sectors, which are the new focus of the Nigerian economy.

He admonished graduate interns undergoing training to take their destiny in their own hands by aspiring to be the best on the platform where they have found themselves and go ahead to make Nigeria proud.

“The Scheme was designed for the graduate interns to be attached to firms/organisations, where they can work for a year and enjoy a monthly stipend of N18,000. Such interns can use the opportunity to gain working experience and enhance their employability.”

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