ITF, Sightsavers train persons with disabilities
Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in partnership with Sightsavers, an international non-governmental organization (NGO), has trained and graduated 32 persons with disabilities on skill acquisition in Abuja.
The PWDs were trained in computer hardware, event management, catering, phone repair, photography and poultry management.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the Director-General of the ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, said that the agency has made the training of persons with disabilities its priority.
Ari, who was represented by ITF’s Kaduna Area Manager, Yahaya Manu, charged the graduands to make good use of their start-up parks provided to them by the agency to empower themselves.
He said: “There were 34 that started the training; only two could not continue, therefore making the graduands 32. There is a physically challenged Act today in Nigeria, therefore as an agency that caters for the growth and development of youths and women through skills acquisition.
“We have decided to focus our attention on the physically challenged so they can acquire different skills and contribute their quota to national development because we believe there is ability in disability.
“Now that you have acquired these special skills, I urge you to deploy them into judicious use so you can contribute your quota to the growth and development of the country, because the ultimate aim of this training is to reduce youth unemployment, and the agency is always committed to supporting the physically challenged in any capacity.”
In his remarks, the country director of Sightsavers Nigeria, Dr Sunday Isiyaku, said the rationale behind the group’s partnership with the ITF is to transform the labour market system and make it inclusive.
He said: “Let us remember that the era of disability is no more. Today, disability is productive. Let us support people with disabilities to demonstrate their products and thrive. We are building the disability confidence of employers, and job readiness of young persons with disabilities and supporting government agencies to ensure programs promote disability-inclusive economic empowerment.
“While we have trained hundreds of persons with disabilities in soft and digital skills, preparing and connecting them to formal jobs, we decided to partner with ITF to empower the graduates today in vocational training and prepare them for entrepreneurship.”
He noted that the courses were carefully selected for disabled persons due to their relevance to the labour market while admonishing the graduands to apply the knowledge they have gathered during this training to start their business.
Also, the Programme Officer of the Sightsavers Inclusion Works project, Rasak Adekoya, said the training was in line with Sightsavers’ reviewed vision and quest to tackle incidences of unemployment among persons with disabilities in the country head-on.