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ITF mulls skills acquisition programme for internally displaced persons


Chukkas Onaeko

Chukkas Onaeko

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has finalised plans to commence a skills acquisition project for Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria.

The initiative, according to the Director-General, ITF, Dr Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko, is in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to the reduction of poverty and crime across the country.

She spoke when she paid an unscheduled visit to the camps of the internally displaced persons in Jos. The DG assured the internally displaced persons that the agency, in line with its mandate, would provide vocational and technical trainings and help open up employment opportunities, noting that the training programmes would kick off very soon.

This, she said, would enable residents to learn various trades during their stay in the IDP camps and take the number of trained Nigerians beyond the targeted two million annually.

She said: “The Federal Government is determined to ensure that all the people in the internally displaced persons camps nationwide are empowered with skills acquisition opportunities, so that by the people move back to their homes, they will make what they have learnt relevant to the larger society. “Providing skills acquisition opportunities for the internally displaced persons would go a long way towards improving their present situation whilst also reducing the urge to engage in violent or criminal activities.”

Chukkas-Onaeko commended individuals and organisations that had donated various relief materials for the welfare of the displaced persons, noting that while these materials were needed in the immediate and short terms, lifelong skills acquisition would be relevant now and in the future. “It is the desire of the ITF to partner with relevant organisations in order to help these Nigerians acquire relevant skills and put them to work.

This way, they will be able to rebuild their lives whenever they leave these camps,” she stated. The ITF boss had earlier disclosed that the agency had achieved over 70 per cent job placement for its trainees across major sectors of the Nigerian economy.

According to her ITF’s focus was to ensure 100 per cent employment for trainees that had benefitted from the various trainings conducted in collaboration with the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association and other organisations. She added; “Our focus is to achieve 100 per cent employment for all trainees that come on the platform.

And so far, I would say that we have done quite well. Up to 70 per cent get retained by the companies that work with us to train these people, and some go to sister companies, other companies that offer the same services, and they get employed. “Over 74,000 Nigerians have been trained in various vocational and technical areas under the 1,000 per state training scheme, while about one million benefitted from the overall ITF training projects, in-house and across industries in the last one year.”

The DG noted that the ITF would continue to increase the number of trainees in the coming years to further address the issues of unemployment in the country.

Already the process of training two million annually has commenced, according to ITF. “I have told my team that we should look at training and working on getting jobs for at least 50 per cent of four million people to be trained.

That is because the need is huge. If we don’t do this considering the number of youths that graduate from universities every year, from the polytechnics and even the secondary schools, they continue to grow at a very high rate,” the DG said.

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