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ITF canvases functional apprenticeship training system to tackle unemployment

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
03 February 2023   |   2:44 pm
The Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Sir Joseph Ari, yesterday, expressed optimism that a functional National Apprenticeship and Training System (NATs) will ensure a structured approach to skills acquisition and certification, adding this will lead to an increase in the number of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and expand existing ones.

Director General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari

The Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Sir Joseph Ari, yesterday, expressed optimism that a functional National Apprenticeship and Training System (NATs) will ensure a structured approach to skills acquisition and certification, adding this will lead to an increase in the number of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and expand existing ones.

He noted that the framework has potential to drastically reduce unemployment and affords the youths the opportunity to earn good income while learning, enhance eligibility for financial assistance.

Ari, who stated this at the launch of NATS framework in Abuja, said NATs signifies reduction in unemployment, underemployment, social vices and crime rates as well as improvement in the quality of services of technicians and craftsmen.

According to the ITF boss, enriching the NATs with international certification for the various vocational trades will promote balanced employment and competition amongst youths, adding, it will serve as a viable source of foreign earnings for the country through the export of skills.

He explained that for the nation’s aspiration to be met, the ITF requires synergy and collaboration from all stakeholders involved in TVET.

He added: ‘’We are in collaboration with NECA under the technical Skills Development project (TSDP), which has already trained over 50,000 Nigerians, we are also in collaboration with several other organisations, including skills4Prosperity in our quest to institutionalise NATs in Nigeria.”

In his goodwill message, World Bank Senior Education Specialists, Dr. Tunde Adekola, said the bank has so far spent over $200 million to support Nigeria’s skills acquisition programmes in four years.

This, Adekola said was part of efforts to combat unemployment, reduce poverty and for overall growth and development of the country.

He noted that the funds were disbursed to various technical colleges and colleges of education across the six geo-political zones of the country following a request from the federal government.